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Introducing Aliphatic Fluoropeptides: Perspectives on Folding Properties, Membrane Partition and Proteolytic Stability

A de novo designed class of peptide-based fluoropolymers composed of fluorinated aliphatic amino acids as main components is reported. Structural characterization provided insights into fluorine-induced alterations on β-strand to α-helix transition upon an increase in SDS content and revealed the unique formation of PPII structures for trifluorinated fluoropeptides. A combination of circular dichroism, fluorescence-based leaking assays and surface enhanced infrared absorption spectroscopy served to examine the insertion and folding processes into unilamellar vesicles. While partitioning into lipid bilayers, the degree of fluorination conducts a decrease in α-helical content. Furthermore, this study comprises a report on the proteolytic stability of peptides exclusively built up by fluorinated amino acids and proved all sequences to be enzymatically degradable despite the degree of fluorination. Herein presented fluoropeptides as well as the distinctive properties of these artificial and polyfluorinated foldamers with enzyme-degradable features will play a crucial role in the future development of fluorinated peptide-based biomaterials

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