Stereoelectronic properties of N-acetyl-α,β-dehydroamino acid N′-methylamides

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α,β-Dehydroamino acids are useful peptide modifiers. However, their stereoelectronic properties still remain insufficiently recognized. Based on FTIR experiments in the range of νs(N-H), AI, AII and νs(Cα═Cβ) and ab initio calculations with B3LYP/6-31G*, we studied the solution conformational preferences and the amide electron density perturbation of Ac-ΔXaa-NHMe, where ΔXaa = ΔAla, (E)-ΔAbu, (Z)-ΔAbu, (Z)-ΔLeu, (Z)-ΔPhe and ΔVal. Each of these dehydroamides adopts a C5 structure, which in Ac-ΔAla-NHMe is fully extended and accompanied by the strong C5 hydrogen bond. Interaction with bond Cα═Cβ lessens the amidic resonance within the flanking amide groups. The N-terminal C═O bond is noticeably shorter, both amide bonds are longer than the corresponding bonds in the saturated entities and the N-terminal amide system is distorted. Ac-ΔAla-NHMe constitutes an exception. Its C-terminal amide bond is shorter than the standard one and both amide systems are ideally planar. Ac-(E)-ΔAbu-NHMe shares stereoelectronic features with both Ac-ΔAla-NHMe and (Z)-dehydroamides.

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