Why Are Biological Systems Homochiral?

Authors

  • Virgil Percec,

    Corresponding author
    1. Roy & Diana Vagelos Laboratories, Department of Chemistry, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19104-6323, US phone: +1 215-573-5527 fax: +1 215-573-7888
    • Roy & Diana Vagelos Laboratories, Department of Chemistry, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19104-6323, US phone: +1 215-573-5527 fax: +1 215-573-7888
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  • Pawaret Leowanawat

    1. Roy & Diana Vagelos Laboratories, Department of Chemistry, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19104-6323, US phone: +1 215-573-5527 fax: +1 215-573-7888
    Search for more papers by this author

Abstract

Self-assembling and self-organizable dendrons, dendrimers, and dendronized polymers produce chiral supramolecular architectures that have been developed as biological mimics. Here we review our work on the self-assembly of homochiral, heterochiral, and racemic dendritic dipeptides, and address one of the most fundamental questions of biological systems: Why are biological systems homochiral and not heterochiral or racemic and, if they were heterochiral or racemic, how would they look and function by comparison with contemporary homochiral biological systems?

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