Beta Amino Acids

By: Matthias Junkers, Chemfiles Volume 10 Article 4

Although they are less abundant than their α-analogues, β-amino acids occur in nature both in free form and bound to peptides. Oligomers composed exclusively of β-amino acids (so-called β-peptides) might be the most thoroughly investigated peptidomimetics. Besides being remarkably stable to metabolism, exhibiting slow microbial degradation, and inherently stable to proteases and peptidases, they fold into well-ordered secondary structures consisting of helices, turns, and sheets. In this respect, the most intriguing eff ects have been observed when β2-amino acids are present in the β-peptide backbone.1 A whole new “world” has emerged from the design of fascinating new peptidic macromolecules from β- and γ-homologated proteinogenic amino acids and other components. Sigma-Aldrich has a history as a leading supplier of β3-amino acids. Now, the portfolio of β2-amino acids is signifi cantly increased with members that had not yet been available commercially.

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  1. Lelais, G.; Seebach, D. Biopolymers 2004, 76, 206.

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