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Conformational photoswitching of a synthetic peptide foldamer bound within a phospholipid bilayer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)575-580
Number of pages6
Issue number6285
Early online date31 Mar 2016
DateAccepted/In press - 24 Feb 2016
DateE-pub ahead of print - 31 Mar 2016
DatePublished (current) - 29 Apr 2016


The dynamic properties of foldamers, synthetic molecules that mimic folded biomolecules, have mainly been explored in free solution. Here we report on the design, synthesis, and conformational behavior of photoresponsive foldamers bound in a phospholipid bilayer akin to a biological membrane phase. These molecules contain a chromophore, which can be switched between two configurations by different wavelengths of light, attached to a helical oligoamide that both promotes membrane insertion and communicates conformational change along its length. Light-induced structural changes in the chromophore are translated into global conformational changes, detected by monitoring the solid state 19F nuclear magnetic resonance signals of a remote fluorine-containing residue located 1 to 2 nm away. The behavior of the foldamers in the membrane phase is similar to that of analogous compounds in organic solvents.

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  • aad8352_ArticleContent_v6-2nd-rev-nologo

    Rights statement: This is the author’s version of the work. It is posted here by permission of the AAAS for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Science on 31 March 2016, 10.1126/science.aad8352

    Accepted author manuscript, 4 MB, PDF document


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