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

De Poli, Matteo; Zawodny, Wojciech; Quinonero, Ophélie; Lorch, Mark; Webb, Simon J.; Clayden, Jonathan


Matteo De Poli

Wojciech Zawodny

Ophélie Quinonero

Simon J. Webb

Jonathan Clayden


The dynamic properties of foldamers, synthetic molecules that mimic folded biomolecules, have mainly been explored in free solution.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 synthetic peptide 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, which are detected by monitoring the solid-state 19 F nuclear magnetic resonance signals of a remote fluorine-containing residue located 1 to 2 nanometers away. The behavior of the foldamers in the membrane phase is similar to that of analogous compounds in organic solvents.


De Poli, M., Zawodny, W., Quinonero, O., Lorch, M., Webb, S. J., & Clayden, J. (2016). Conformational photoswitching of a synthetic peptide foldamer bound within a phospholipid bilayer. Science, 352(6285), 575-580.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Feb 24, 2016
Online Publication Date Mar 31, 2016
Publication Date Apr 29, 2016
Deposit Date Apr 7, 2016
Publicly Available Date Apr 7, 2016
Journal Science
Print ISSN 0036-8075
Electronic ISSN 1095-9203
Publisher American Association for the Advancement of Science
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 352
Issue 6285
Pages 575-580
Keywords Conformational photoswitching
Public URL
Publisher URL
Additional Information 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 Journal Title {VOL352, 29 April 2016}, doi: 10.1126/science.aad8352


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