In search of new molecular entities for discovering new drugs and materials, organic chemists are looking for innovative approaches that try to imitate nature in assembling quickly large number of distinct and diverse molecular structures from ‘nature-like’ and yet unnatural designer building blocks using combinatorial approach. The main objective in developing such libraries is to mimic the diversities displayed in structures and properties of natural products. The unnatural building blocks used in these assemblies are carefully designed to manifest the structural diversities of the monomeric units used by nature like amino acids, carbohydrates and nucleosides to build its arsenal. Compounds made of such unnatural building blocks are also expected to be more stable toward proteolytic cleavage in physiological systems than their natural counterparts. Sugar amino acids constitute an important class of such polyfunctional scaffolds where the carboxyl, amino and hydroxyl termini provide an excellent opportunity to organic chemists to create structural diversities akin to natures molecular arsenal. Recent advances in the area of combinatorial chemistry give an unprecedented technological support for rapid compilations of sugar amino acid-based libraries exploiting the diversities of carbohydrate molecules and well-developed solid-phase peptide synthesis methods. This review describes the development of sugar amino acids as a novel class of peptidomimetic building blocks and their applications in creating large number of structurally diverse peptide-based molecules many of which display interesting three-dimensional structures as well as useful biological properties.
Keywords: Bioactive Molecules, peptidomimetics, N-acylated pyranoside, 6-deoxyheptopyranuronic acid, 6-deoxy-D-gluconic acid, polyoxin molecules, Leu-enkephalin methyl ester
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