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The use of the copper(I)-assisted azide–alkyne cycloaddition (CuAAC, or “click” reaction) as a method of β-hairpin stabilization was investigated at several different positions to determine the impact on hairpin structure and function, including hydrogen bonded sites, non-hydrogen bonded sites, and at the peptide termini. The role of the turn sequence in the peptide and the chain length of the azide were also investigated. It was determined that the CuAAC reaction was a suitable method for locking in β-hairpin structure in peptides possessing either the type I′ turn, VNGO and the type II′ turn, VpGO. Moreover, all cyclic variants exhibited improved thermal stability and resistance to proteolysis as compared to the non-cyclic peptides, regardless of the position in the strand. Additionally, the function of the CuAAC cyclized peptides was not altered as exhibited by similar binding affinities for ATP as the WKWK peptide. These studies provide a comprehensive investigation of CuAAC cyclization of β-hairpin peptides, which could further be applied to the inhibition of protein–protein and protein–nucleic acid interactions.
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Organic & Biomolecular Chemistry
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