New approaches to stapled peptides targeting the p53-MDM2 interaction
Saunders, Alexander William
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Recent approaches to constraining peptide sequences into more structurally-defined α- helical secondary structures, so-called peptide stapling, are discussed. Stapled peptides are a class of therapeutics that have been shown to more effectively target protein-protein interactions, which are harder to target using a classical small-molecule therapeutic approach. Stapling a peptide constrains it into a well-defined secondary structure. This more accurately mimics the protein-protein interaction making the peptide a more viable therapeutic. Starting from the p53-MDM2 interaction, a protein-protein interaction with important implications in cell health, a known peptidyl inhibitor of this interaction was stapled and analysed for increased α-helicity. This was achieved by using monomers that utilise the copper (I) alkyne azide cycloaddition as a cross-linking methodology, which has been less well researched in the context of peptide stapling. The viability of a novel stapled peptomer inhibitor approach, accomplished using a new, optimised monomer synthesis, is investigated. Additionally, the synthesis of a ligand series designed for use in the copper(I) alkyne azide cycloaddition is also discussed.