Azapeptides, formed by replacing the Cα of amino acid residues by nitrogen, are promising peptidomimetic compounds. Azaamino acids impart a unique conformational property to peptide structures because of the loss of chirality and reduction of flexibility of the parent linear peptide. The peculiar conformational properties make azaamino acids an attractive tool for drug design involving specific secondary structures in peptides and proteins. Additionally, since azapeptides are less susceptible to enzymatic breakdown by proteases, they may possibly lead to orally active drugs with longer duration of action. One of the advantages of azapeptides is their unproblematic synthesis allowing retention of the amino acid side chain. Azapeptides have been developed by several groups for the design of hormone analogues, protease inhibitors and active site titrants.
Keywords: azapeptides, conformational properties, biological action, peptidomimetics
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