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The discovery and application of new types of helical peptidic foldamers have been an attractive endeavor to enable the development of new materials, catalysts and biological molecules. To maximize their application potential through structure-based design, it is imperative to control their helical handedness based on their molecular scaffold. Herein we first demonstrate the generalizability of the solid-state right-handed helical propensity of the 413-helix of L-α/L-sulfono-γ-AA peptides that as short as 11-mer, using the high-resolution X-ray single crystallography. The atomic level folding conformation of the foldamers was also elucidated by 2D NMR and circular dichroism under various conditions. Subsequently, we show that the helical handedness of this class of foldamer is controlled by the chirality of their chiral side chains, as demonstrated by the left-handed 413-helix comprising 1:1 D-α/D-sulfono-γ-AA peptide. In addition, a heterochiral coiled-coil-like structure was also revealed for the first time, unambiguously supporting the impact of chirality on their helical handedness. Our findings enable the structure-based design of unique folding biopolymers and materials with the exclusive handedness or the racemic form of the foldamers in the future.

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Research Square, v. 1, art. rs-64570