Siderophores are iron-complexing compounds synthesized by bacteria and fungi. They are low molecular weight compounds (500-1500 Daltons) possessing high affinity for iron(III). Since 1970 a large number of siderophores have been characterized, the majority using hydroxamate or catecholate as functional groups. The biosynthesis of siderophores is typically regulated by the iron levels of the environment where the organism is located. Because of their exclusive affinity and specificity for iron(III), natural siderophores and their synthetic derivatives have been exploited in the treatment of human iron-overload diseases, as both diagnostic and therapeutic agents. Here, solid-phase approach for the preparation of hexadentate, peptide-based tricatecholato containing peptides is described. The versatility of the synthetic method allows for the design of a common scaffolding structure whereby diverse ligands can be conjugated. With so many possibilities, a computational approach has been developed which will facilitate the identification of those peptides which are capable of providing a high affinity iron(III) binding site. This study reports an integrated computational/synthetic approach towards a rational development of peptide-based siderophores.
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