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Interdisciplinary Seminar

Dr. Amelia Fuller

SCU Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry


Monday October 18, 2010

4-5:30 pm

Alumni Science 246



Oligomers of N-substituted glycine, peptoids, have been valuable targets for study and application as potential therapeutics, as nanomaterials, and as organocatalysts. Peptoids can mimic structural and functional properties of natural peptides, and they can be efficiently prepared using reliable synthetic methods. Research in my lab aims to develop new methods to examine the three-dimensional structures of peptoids, particularly those that are similar to protein substructures. We have prepared peptoids that include an environmentally sensitive fluorophore, 4-DMN. The fluorescence emission intensity of 4-DMN varies with the polarity and rigidity of its local medium. Most of our 4-DMN-modified peptoids are predicted to adopt a helical three-dimensional structure, and we have varied the patterning and display of hydrophobic and hydrophilic groups relative to 4-DMN to change its local environment. We find that the fluorescence intensity changes correlate with our predictions about the local polarity and rigidity of the environment of 4-DMN in the context of the peptoid’s three-dimensional structure.

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