• Synthesis of Modified Amino Acids and Insertion in Peptides and Mimetics. Structural Aspects and Impact on Biological Activity.
  • De Marco, Rossella <1979>


  • CHIM/06 Chimica organica


  • I studied the effects exerted by the modifications on structures and biological activities of the compounds so obtained. I prepared peptide analogues containing unusual amino acids such as halogenated, alkylated (S)- or (R)-tryptophans, useful for the synthesis of mimetics of the endogenous opioid peptide endomorphin-1, or 2-oxo-1,3-oxazolidine-4-carboxylic acids, utilized as pseudo-prolines having a clear all-trans configuration of the preceding peptide bond. The latter gave access to a series of constrained peptidomimetics with potential interest in medicinal chemistry and in the field of the foldamers. In particular, I have dedicated much efforts to the preparation of cyclopentapeptides containing D-configured, alfa-, or beta-aminoacids, and also of cyclotetrapeptides including the retro-inverso modification. The conformational analyses confirmed that these cyclic compounds can be utilized as rigid scaffolds mimicking gamma- or beta-turns, allowing to generate new molecular and 3D diversity. Much work has been dedicated to the structural analysis in solution and in the receptor-bound state, fundamental for giving a rationale to the experimentally determined bioactivity, as well as for predicting the activity of virtual compounds (in silico pre-screen). The conformational analyses in solution has been done mostly by NMR (2D gCosy, Roesy, VT, molecular dynamics, etc.). A special section is dedicated to the prediction of plausible poses of the ligands when bound to the receptors by Molecular Docking. This computational method proved to be a powerful tool for the investigation of ligand-receptor interactions, and for the design of selective agonists and antagonists. Another practical use of cyclic peptidomimetics was the synthesis and biological evaluation of cyclic analogues of endomorphin-1 lacking in a protonable amino group. The studies revealed that a inverse type II beta-turn on D-Trp-Phe constituted the bioactive conformation.


  • 2012-04-12


  • Doctoral Thesis
  • PeerReviewed


  • application/pdf



De Marco, Rossella (2012) Synthesis of Modified Amino Acids and Insertion in Peptides and Mimetics. Structural Aspects and Impact on Biological Activity., [Dissertation thesis], Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna. Dottorato di ricerca in Scienze chimiche , 24 Ciclo. DOI 10.6092/unibo/amsdottorato/4801.