Synthesis of information-bearing peptoids and their sequence-directed dynamic covalent self-assembly

Samuel C. Leguizamon, Abdulla F. Alqubati, Timothy F. Scott

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This protocol presents the use of Lewis acidic multi-role reagents to circumvent kinetic trapping observed during the self-assembly of information-encoded oligomeric strands mediated by paired dynamic covalent interactions in a manner mimicking the thermal cycling commonly employed for the self-assembly of complementary nucleic acid sequences. Primary amine monomers bearing aldehyde and amine pendant moieties are functionalized with orthogonal protecting groups for use as dynamic covalent reactant pairs. Using a modified automated peptide synthesizer, the primary amine monomers are encoded into oligo(peptoid) strands through solid-phase submonomer synthesis. Upon purification by high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) and characterization by electrospray ionization mass spectrometry (ESI-MS), sequence-specific oligomers are subjected to high-loading of a Lewis acidic rare-earth metal triflate which both deprotects the aldehyde moieties and affects the reactant pair equilibrium such that strands completely dissociate. Subsequently, a fraction of the Lewis acid is extracted, enabling annealing of complementary sequence-specific strands to form information-encoded molecular ladders characterized by matrix assisted laser desorption/ionization mass spectrometry (MALDI-MS). The simple procedure outlined in this report circumvents kinetic traps commonly experienced in the field of dynamic covalent assembly and serves as a platform for the future design of robust, complex architectures.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere60442
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Visualized Experiments
Issue number156
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2020

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