Collect. Czech. Chem. Commun. 1988, 53, 2825-2832

Alpha and beta conformations of water soluble sequential iso polypeptides

Bernard Barbier, Margarita Perello and André Brack

Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Centre de Biophysique Moléculaire, 45071 Orleans Cedex 2, France


Alternating poly(Leu-Lys) and its isopolypeptide poly(Leu-Lys-Lys-Leu) were synthesized via polycondensation of p-nitrophenyl esters of the corresponding protected peptides. Addition of one equivalent of 1-hydroxybenzotriazole and varying amounts of a tertiary base allowed to control the molecular weights of the samples. The conformation of the water soluble polypeptides was investigated by circular dichroism. Poly(Leu-Lys) adopts a β-sheet conformation in the presence of salt while poly(Leu-Lys-Lys-Leu) adopts an α-helical conformation. For polypeptides based on a 1 : 1 composition of hydrophobic (A) and hydrophilic (B) residues, the shortest repeat for the formation of a β-sheet is -AB- whereas -AABB- represents the shortest repeat for an α-helix formation.