The Journal of Peptide Research vol:49 issue:2 pages:183-189
Recently great interest has arisen in the synthesis of combinatorial libraries, and this technology provides a significant partner to contemporary strategies in rational design and lead discovery. By simple combination of a given set of building blocks, high numbers of different molecules are produced simultaneously, increasing the possibility of discovery of a lead compound in a limited time. One direction of research in this field focuses on the synthesis of libraries composed of modified amino acids. Here, the synthesis and characteristics of some building blocks derived from ornithine are described. The synthesis is based on the acylation/sulfonation of the copper complex of ornithine by aroyl and arylsulfonyl chlorides exemplified by 2-thiophenecarbonyl chloride, p-toluenesulfonyl chloride and 8-quinolinesulfonyl chloride. To evaluate the potential use of these modified alpha-amino acids as component in an oligopeptide library, all three derivatives were incorporated in a hexapeptide with a random sequence using a standard coupling procedure (DIC/HOBt/DIEA). Depending upon the acidity of the amido hydrogen on the delta-nitrogen, competition between intramolecular cyclization and peptide bond formation was observed. The higher the acidity, the more pronounced is this side reaction. Coupling conditions for peptide formation were optimized so that the newly described amino acid based building blocks are suitable for incorporation into libraries consisting of unnatural amino acids. The outlined procedures open up a broad avenue of possibilities for creation of diversity into peptidic libraries.