Combinatorial chemistry has become an invaluable tool in medicinal chemistry for the identification of new drug leads. For example, libraries of predetermined sequences and head-to-tail cyclized peptides are routinely synthesized in our laboratory using the IRORI approach. Such libraries are used as molecular toolkits that enable the development of pharmacophores that define activity and specificity at receptor targets. These libraries can be quite large and difficult to handle, due to physical and chemical constraints imposed by their size. Therefore, smaller sub-libraries are often targeted for synthesis. The number of coupling reactions required can be greatly reduced if the peptides having common amino acids are grouped into the same sub-library (batching). This paper describes a schedule optimizer to minimize the number of coupling reactions by rotating and aligning sequences while simultaneously batching. The gradient descent method thereby reduces the number of coupling reactions required for synthesizing cyclic peptide libraries. We show that the algorithm results in a 75% reduction in the number of coupling reactions for a typical cyclic peptide library.
Keywords: mix, split, combinatorial chemistry, hill climbing, gradient descent, coupling reaction, batch synthesis, alignment, Cyclic peptides
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