Aaron M. Almeida

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A highly stereoselective synthesis of novel cyclically constrained gamma-amino acid residues is presented. The key step involves organocatalytic Michael addition of an aldehyde to 1-nitrocyclohexene. After aldehyde reduction, this approach provides optically active beta-substituted delta-nitro alcohols (96-99% ee), which can be converted to gamma-amino acid(More)
We report the first high-resolution structural data for the beta/gamma-peptide 13-helix (i,i+3 C=O...H-N H-bonds), a secondary structure that is formed by oligomers with a 1:1 alternation of beta- and gamma-amino acid residues. Our characterization includes both crystallographic and 2D NMR data. Previous studies suggested that beta/gamma-peptides(More)
We report the asymmetric synthesis of the γ-amino acid (1R,2R)-2-aminomethyl-1-cyclopentane carboxylic acid (AMCP) and an evaluation of this residue's potential to promote secondary structure in α/γ-peptides. Simulated annealing calculations using NMR-derived distance restraints obtained for α/γ-peptides in chloroform reveal that AMCP-containing oligomers(More)
Infrared spectroscopy is playing an important role in the elucidation of amyloid fiber formation, but the coupling models that link spectra to structure are not well tested for parallel β-sheets. Using a synthetic macrocycle that enforces a two stranded parallel β-sheet conformation, we measured the lifetimes and frequency for six combinations of doubly(More)
Disulfide bonds between Cys residues in adjacent strands of parallel β-sheets are rare among proteins, which suggests that parallel β-sheet structure is not stabilized by such disulfide cross-links. We report experimental results that show, surprisingly, that an interstrand disulfide bond can stabilize parallel β-sheets formed by an autonomously folding(More)
Proteinogenic amino acid residues that promote β-sheet secondary structure are hydrophobic (e.g., Ile or Val) or only moderately polar (e.g., Thr). The design of peptides intended to display β-sheet secondary structure in water typically requires one set of residues to ensure conformational stability and an orthogonal set, with charged side chains, to(More)
H-bonded helices in conventional peptides (containing exclusively homochiral α-amino acid residues) feature a uniform H-bonding directionality, N-terminal side C═O to C-terminal side NH. In contrast, heterochiral α-peptides can form helices in which the H-bond directionality alternates along the backbone because neighboring amide groups are oriented in(More)
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