Peptide chemistry

Peptide chemistry

Peptides can be considered as small proteins or heteropolymers consisting of amino acids as building blocks. Classical peptides are assembled by means of organic chemistry methods from natural α-L-amino acids. For special research (in order to obtain alignment media) other unnatural building blocks can be used.

Being at least bifunctional, by bearing amino- and carboxy-functionalities, amino acids require to be protected by so-called temporary protecting groups for every coupling stage. Other potentially reactive side chain groups are usually blocked semi-permanently. Thus, the whole general procedure is as follows:

  • Synthesis of selectively protected amino acids or other building blocks
  • Stepwise assembling of peptide from building blocks in solution or on solid phase. The latter can also be performed by an automatic synthesizer:
    • Elaboration of condensation reaction.
    • Deprotection of temporary blocking group.
    • After a number of necessary steps of condensation and deprotection, the final stage of complete deprotection, i. e. getting rid of semi-permanent blocking group, gives us the crude peptide.
  • Peptide purification by chromatography methods.
  • Chemical structure confirmation.

Our group is equipped with a peptide synthesizer (Liberty, CEM, USA) coupled with a microwave-generator (Discover, CEM, USA) and a HPLC instrument (JASCO, Japan). We perform peptide synthesis at all stages described above, from amino acid derivatives to final peptides (see beta-peptides).

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