Protein backbone engineering as a strategy to advance foldamers toward the frontier of protein-like tertiary structure
A variety of non-biological structural motifs have been incorporated into the backbone of natural protein sequences. In parallel work, diverse unnatural oligomers of de novo design (termed “foldamers”) have been developed that fold in defined ways. In this Perspective article, we survey foundational studies on protein backbone engineering, with a focus on alterations made in the context of complex tertiary folds. We go on to summarize recent work illustrating the potential promise of these methods to provide a general framework for the construction of foldamer mimics of protein tertiary structures.