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New paper on peptoid helix folding

posted Nov 22, 2015, 5:13 PM by Vincent Voelz   [ updated Nov 22, 2015, 5:15 PM ]
Peptoids (N-substituted oligoglycines) are bio-inspired synthetic heteropolymers that can fold into a number of diverse structural scaffolds.  In a new paper by Mukherjee et al., we report on improved simulation potentials that better model peptoid helices, a key motif for peptide mimics.  We then use a statistical mechanical helix-coil  model to examine the thermodynamic forces that drive helix formation.  We find that, unlike peptides, peptoid helices can  increase their entropy upon folding, indicating that steric bulk of plays a large role in stabilizing helices.  These findings will help future efforts in computational peptoid design.