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Modification of Poly(5,6-epoxy-l-norleucine) Gives Functional Polypeptides with Alternative Side-Chain Linkages


The preparation and characterization of a new epoxide containing polypeptide, poly(5,6-epoxy-l-norleucine), via postpolymerization modification of poly(l-homoallylglycine) is described. Addition of thiols to the epoxide groups in poly(5,6-epoxy-l-norleucine) was studied as a means to prepare side-chain functional polypeptides. The solution properties of the derivatized polypeptides were studied in water and compared to similar thioether containing functional polypeptides prepared via different routes. Subtle differences in side-chain linkage chemistry were found to influence polypeptide solubility, chain conformation in solution, and thermoresponsive behavior. Poly(5,6-epoxy-l-norleucine) was found to be useful as a readily prepared intermediate that can be reacted with thiols to give a variety of functional polypeptides.

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