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Peptoid structure prediction

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<p>Guest post from Dr. Greg Bowman, UC Berkeley</p>

<p>Prof. Vince Voelzâs lab has published an exciting paper on

their recent successes with predicting the structures of protein-like molecules

called peptoids (<a href="http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2012/08/13/1209945109.abstract">here</a>). Peptoids are

similar to proteins but with a rearrangement in their chemistry (see example below). Their similarity to proteins allows peptoids

to function like proteins. However, the

alteration in peptoid chemistry relative to proteins effectively makes them

invisible to parts of the immune system designed to recognize foreign

proteins. Therefore, peptoids are an

attractive option for drug design. To

fully realize this potential, we need to be able to predict the structures of

peptoids and design them to perform specific functions. The Voelz labâs work demonstrates that

computer simulations can provide this sort of information by presented

predicted structures of a number of peptoids along with experimental structures

confirming the accuracy of their predictions (see example below).</p>

<p> </p>

<p><img alt="" height="114" src="http://folding.typepad.com/.a/6a00e54ef157d78834017d420dae0b970c-pi" width="342" /></p>

<p>Peptide vs. peptoid chemistry. In peptoids, a group of atoms (called R) is moved from a carbon to an adjacent nitrogen (N).</p>

<p> </p>

<p><img alt="" height="190" src="http://folding.typepad.com/.a/6a00e54ef157d78834017d420dae16970c-pi" width="222" /></p>

<p>An example of one of the Voelz lab's predicted structures (in green) overlaid with the experimental structure (in white). </p>

<p> </p>


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