Manipulating the helix-coil transition profile of synthetic polypeptides by leveraging side-chain molecular interactions

Ziyuan Song, Zhengzhong Tan, Xuetao Zheng, Zihuan Fu, Ettigounder Ponnusamy, Jianjun Cheng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Polypeptides with trigger-responsive helix-coil transition behaviours are interesting biomaterials due to their helix-specific assemblies and biomedical performances. Based on the pH-sensitive, conformationally switchable triazole polypeptides, we reported the manipulation of the helix-coil transition profile, which was determined by the combined molecular interactions of triazole and other side-chain functionalities. Specifically, the introduction of side-chain hydrophobic moieties or hydrogen bonding acceptors neutralized the helix-disrupting effect of side-chain triazoles, which altered the pH-responsive conformational transition profile of the polypeptides. These results inspired us to design new triazole polypeptides bearing dimethylamino side chains, which exhibited interesting helix-coil-helix transition behaviours as the pH decreased.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1445-1449
Number of pages5
JournalPolymer Chemistry
Issue number8
StatePublished - Feb 28 2020


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Biochemistry
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Organic Chemistry

Cite this