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Kotai B.,Hungarian Academy of Sciences | Kardos G.,Hungarian Academy of Sciences | Hamza A.,Hungarian Academy of Sciences | Farkas V.,MTA ELTE Protein Modelling Research Group | And 2 more authors.
Chemistry - A European Journal | Year: 2014

A joint experimental-theoretical study of a bifunctional squaramide-amine-catalyzed Michael addition reaction between 1,3-dioxo nucleophiles and nitrostyrene has been undertaken to gain insight into the nature of bifunctional organocatalytic activation. For this highly stereoselective reaction, three previously proposed mechanistic scenarios for the critical C-C bond-formation step were examined. Accordingly, the formation of the major stereoisomeric products is most plausible by one of the bifunctional pathways that involve electrophile activation by the protonated amine group of the catalyst. However, some of the minor product isomers are also accessible through alternative reaction routes. Structural analysis of transition states points to the structural invariance of certain fragments of the transition state, such as the protonated catalyst and the anionic fragment of approaching reactants. Our topological analysis provides deeper insight and a more general understanding of bifunctional noncovalent organocatalysis. Finding the path: The mechanism of bifunctional squaramide-promoted Michael addition of prochiral 1,3-dioxo nucleophiles and nitroolefin has been studied on the basis of DFT calculations. Among the investigated mechanistic scenarios, the pathway corresponding to electrophile activation via the protonated amine unit is found to be the most feasible (see figure). For some of the minor stereoisomeric products, alternative pathways are also accessible. © 2014 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim. Source

Nemes A.,Eotvos Lorand University | Csoka T.,Eotvos Lorand University | Beni S.,Semmelweis University | Farkas V.,MTA ELTE Protein Modelling Research Group | And 2 more authors.
Journal of Organic Chemistry | Year: 2015

Three chiral α-(nonafluoro-tert-butoxy)carboxylic acids (R)-1, (RS)-2, (R)-3 were synthesized to examine their application as chiral solvating agents with amines. As a model compound, first (S)- and/or (RS)-α-phenylethylamine was used, and their diastereomeric salts were investigated by 1H and 19F NMR and ECD spectroscopy. The NMR spectroscopic studies were carried out at room temperature using the slightly polar CDCl3 and apolar C6D6 as solvents in 5 mM and 54 mM concentrations. The difference of the chemical shifts (Δδ) in the diastereomeric complexes is comparable with other, well-known chiral derivatizing and solvating agents (e.g., Mosher's acid, Pirkle's alcohol). Diastereomeric salts of racemic acids (RS)-1 and (RS)-2 with biologically active amines (1R,2S)-ephedrine and (S)-dapoxetine were also investigated by 19F NMR spectroscopy. © 2015 American Chemical Society. Source

Csordas B.,Eotvos Lorand University | Nagy A.,Eotvos Lorand University | Harmat V.,Eotvos Lorand University | Zsoldos-Mady V.,MTA ELTE Protein Modelling Research Group | And 5 more authors.
Amino Acids | Year: 2016

We report the solid phase synthesis of –GG-X-GG– type α/β-carbopeptoids incorporating RibAFU(ip) (1a, tX) or XylAFU(ip) (2a, cX) sugar amino acids. Though coupling efficacy is moderate, both the lengthier synthetic route using Fmoc derivative (e.g., Fmoc-RibAFU(ip)-OH) and the azido derivative (e.g., N3-RibAFU(ip)-OH) via Staudinger reaction with nBu3P can be successfully applied. Both X-ray diffraction, 1H- and 31P-NMR, and theoretical (QM) data support and explain why the application of Ph3P as Staudinger reagent is “ineffective” in the case of a cis stereoisomer, if cX is attached to the preceding residue with a peptide (–CONH–) bond. The failure of the polypeptide chain elongation with N3-cX originates from the “coincidence” of a steric crowdedness and an electronic effect disabling the mandatory nucleophilic attack during the hydrolysis of a quasi penta-coordinated triphenylphosphinimine. Nevertheless, the synthesis of the above α/β-chimera peptides as completed now by a new pathway via 1,2-O-isopropylidene-3-azido-3-deoxy-ribo- and -xylo-furanuronic acid (H-RibAFU(ip)-OH 1a and H-XylAFU(ip)-OH 2a) coupled with N-protected α-amino acids on solid phase could serve as useful examples and starting points of further synthetic efforts. © 2016 Springer-Verlag Wien Source

Rovo P.,Eotvos Lorand University | Farkas V.,MTA ELTE Protein Modelling Research Group | Straner P.,MTA ELTE Protein Modelling Research Group | Szabo M.,MTA ELTE Protein Modelling Research Group | And 5 more authors.
Biochemistry | Year: 2014

Exendin-4 (Ex4) is a potent glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonist, a drug regulating the plasma glucose level of patients suffering from type 2 diabetes. The molecule's poor solubility and its readiness to form aggregates increase the likelihood of unwanted side effects. Therefore, we designed Ex4 analogues with improved structural characteristics and better water solubility. Rational design was started from the parent 20-amino acid, well-folded Trp cage (TC) miniprotein and involved the step-by-step N-terminal elongation of the TC head, resulting in the 39-amino acid Ex4 analogue, E19. Helical propensity coupled to tertiary structure compactness was monitored and quantitatively analyzed by electronic circular dichroism and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy for the 14 peptides of different lengths. Both 15N relaxation- and diffusion-ordered NMR measurements were established to investigate the inherent mobility and self-association propensity of Ex4 and E19. Our designed E19 molecule has the same tertiary structure as Ex4 but is more helical than Ex4 under all studied conditions; it is less prone to oligomerization and has preserved biological activity. These conditions make E19 a perfect lead compound for further drug discovery. We believe that this structural study improves our understanding of the relationship between local molecular features and global physicochemical properties such as water solubility and could help in the development of more potent Ex4 analogues with improved pharmacokinetic properties. © 2014 American Chemical Society. Source

Menyhard D.K.,MTA ELTE Protein Modelling Research Group | Orgovan Z.,Eotvos Lorand University | Szeltner Z.,Hungarian Academy of Sciences | Szamosi I.,Hungarian Academy of Sciences | And 2 more authors.
Acta Crystallographica Section D: Biological Crystallography | Year: 2015

Acylaminoacyl peptidase (AAP) is an oligopeptidase that only cleaves short peptides or protein segments. In the case of AAP from Aeropyrum pernix (ApAAP), previous studies have led to a model in which the clamshell-like opening and closing of the enzyme provides the means of substrate-size selection. The closed form of the enzyme is catalytically active, while opening deactivates the catalytic triad. The crystallographic results presented here show that the open form of ApAAP is indeed functionally disabled. The obtained crystal structures also reveal that the closed form is penetrable to small ligands: inhibitor added to the pre-formed crystal was able to reach the active site of the rigidified protein, which is only possible through the narrow channel of the propeller domain. Molecular-dynamics simulations investigating the structure of the complexes formed with longer peptide substrates showed that their binding within the large crevice of the closed form of ApAAP leaves the enzyme structure unperturbed; however, their accessing the binding site seems more probable when assisted by opening of the enzyme. Thus, the open form of ApAAP corresponds to a scavenger of possible substrates, the actual cleavage of which only takes place if the enzyme is able to re-close. © 2015 International Union of Crystallography. Source

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