Chemical Modifications Designed to Improve Peptide Stability: Incorporation of Non-Natural Amino Acids, Pseudo-Peptide Bonds, and Cyclization

Author(s): Luca Gentilucci, Rossella De Marco, Lucia Cerisoli

Journal Name: Current Pharmaceutical Design

Volume 16 , Issue 28 , 2010

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Functions and properties of native peptides vary from highly specific antibiotics or cytotoxic antitumor drugs, to hormones, neurotransmitters, immunomodulators, etc. Despite their potential utility as therapeutic agents, there are problems connected with the use of natural peptides, due to the low stability against proteolysis, resulting in a short duration of in vivo activity, and in a low bioavailability. One way to overcome these disadvantages is the use of modified peptides, the so called peptidomimetics. Overall, the less peptide character in a drug candidate, the more stable it is towards protease cleavage. A huge number of non-peptidic scaffolds have been reported in the literature; nevertheless, several cases have failed to reproduce the activity of the precursor peptide when the scaffold itself contains relevant pharmacophore elements. Therefore, quasi-peptides still maintain their appeal for applications in medicinal chemistry. For the large number of different unnatural amino acids and peptidomimetics, the overview cannot be all-inclusive. This review focuses on modified peptides in which the peptide character is still preponderant, with particular emphasis on the chemical methodologies utilized to introduce the modifications.

Keywords: Peptidomimetic, unnatural amino acid, isoster, scaffold, enzymatic degradation, metabolism, cyclopeptide

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Article Details

Year: 2010
Page: [3185 - 3203]
Pages: 19
DOI: 10.2174/138161210793292555
Price: $65

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