β-Peptide bundles: Design. Build. Analyze. Biosynthesize.
Peptides containing β-amino acids are unique non-natural polymers known to assemble into protein-like tertiary and quaternary structures. When composed solely of β-amino acids, the structures formed, defined assemblies of 14-helices called β-peptide bundles, fold cooperatively in water solvent into unique and discrete quaternary assemblies that are highly thermostable, bind complex substrates and metal ion cofactors, and, in certain cases, catalyze chemical reactions. In this Perspective, we recount the design and elaboration of β-peptide bundles and provide an outlook on recent, unexpected discoveries that could influence research on β-peptides and β-peptide bundles (and β-amino acid-containing proteins) for decades to come.