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Volume 3, Issue 1, 1997, pp. 43-60

Limitations of the coupling of amino acid mixtures for the preparation of equimolar peptide libraries

Jean A. Boutin, Isabelle Gesson, Jean-Michel Henlin, Jean-Luc Fauchere
Department of Peptide and Combinatorial Chemistry, Institut de Recherches SERVIER, 11 Rue des Moulineaux, F-92150 Suresnes, France

Sophie Bertin, Pierre-Herve Lambert, Jean-Paul Volland
Department of Analytical and Physical Chemistry, Institut de Recherches SERVIER, 11 Rue des Moulineaux, F-92150 Suresnes, France

The standard method of peptide library synthesis involves coupling steps in which a single amino acid is reacted with a mixture of resin-bound amino acids. The more recently described positional scanning strategy (in which each position in the peptide sequence is occupied in turn by a single residue) is different since it involves the coupling of mixtures of amino acids to mixtures of resin-bound amino acids. In the present study, we analyze the compounds produced under these conditions measuring coupling rates and amounts of formed products, using mainly UV, HPLC, LC/MS and MS/MS techniques. Our data do not permit to conclude that the resulting libraries are complete. Indeed, our analytical data indicate that a large part of the di-, tri- and tetrapeptides synthesized with this method are not present in the final mixture. Although chemical compensation (in which poor coupling kinetics is compensated by a larger excess of the incoming amino acid) has been thought to counterbalance these biases, our experiments show that the compensation method does not take into account the crucial influence of the resin-bound amino acid and that even dipeptide libraries obtained in this way are far from completeness. The present work provides strong evidence that the coupling of mixtures of amino acids to resin-bound residues, which is required by the positional scanning strategy, results in incomplete and/or non-equimolar libraries. It also clearly confirms that coupling rates in solid-phase peptide synthesis are dependent on the nature of both the incoming and the immobilized amino acid.

analysis of libraries, coupling of mixtures, incomplete libraries, peptide libraries, positional scanning

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