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Vallade, MaeIle; Jewginski, Michal; Fischer, Lucile; Buratto, Jeremie; Bathany, Katell; Schmitter, Jean-Marie; Stupfel, Marine; Godde, Frederic; Mackereth, Cameron D.; Huc, Ivan (2019): Assessing Interactions between Helical Aromatic Oligoamide Foldamers and Protein Surfaces: A Tethering Approach. In: Bioconjugate Chemistry, Vol. 30, No. 1: pp. 54-62
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Helically folded aromatic foldamers may constitute suitable candidates for the ab initio design of ligands for protein surfaces. As preliminary steps toward the exploration of this hypothesis, a tethering approach was developed to detect interactions between a protein and a foldamer by confining the former at the surface of the latter. Cysteine mutants of two therapeutically relevant enzymes, CypA and IL4, were produced. Two series of ten foldamers were synthesized bearing different proteinogenic side chains and either a long or a short linker functionalized with an activated disulfide. Disulfide exchange between the mutated cysteines and the activated disulfides yielded 20 foldamer-IL4 and 20 foldamer-CypA adducts. Effectiveness of the reaction was demonstrated by LC-MS, by MS analysis after proteolytic digestion, and by 2D NMR. Circular dichroism then revealed diastereoselective interactions between the proteins and the foldamers confined at their surface which resulted in a preferred handedness of the foldamer helix. Helix sense bias occurred sometimes with both the short and the long linkers and sometimes with only one of them. In a few cases, helix handedness preference is found to be close to quantitative. These cases constitute valid candidates for structural elucidation of the interactions involved.