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Nucleation and stability of hydrogen-bond surrogate-based α-helices†

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We have reported a new class of artificial α-helices in which a pre-organized α-turn nucleates the helical conformation [R. N. Chapman, G. Dimartino, and P. S. Arora, J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2004, 126, 12252 and D. Wang, K. Chen, J. L. Kulp, III, and P. S. Arora, J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2006, 128, 9248]. This manuscript describes the effect of the core nucleation template on the overall helicity of the peptides and demonstrates that the macrocycle which most closely mimics the 13-membered hydrogen-bonded α-turn in canonical α-helices also affords the most stable artificial α-helix. We also investigate the stability of these synthetic helices through classical helix–coil parameters and find that the denaturation behavior of HBS α-helices agrees with the theoretical properties of a peptide with a well-defined and stable helix nucleus.

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