The key role of proteins and amino acids in the structure and function of living matter has stimulated extensive studies. Modified amino acids with enhanced biological activity, proteolitic stability and bioavailability are of increasing interest in protein design and engineering as drug candidates. In the last few years, several efforts have been devoted to the synthesis of amino acids having unusual side chains and unnatural chirality, commonly referred to as “nonproteinogenic” or “unnatural” amino acids, even though some of them can be isolated from natural sources. In this review we describe recent advances in the amino acid side-chain transformations and backbone modifications by oxidative and fluorination procedures.
Keywords: Unnatural amino acids, peptidomimetics, biological activity, synthesis, structural preperties, fluorination, cycloaddition reactions, N-benzyloxycarbonyl, α-ketoamide, diisobutylaluminum hydride, sulfoxide
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