Excellent results have been obtained for the Fmoc solid-phase syntheses of peptides using the activating reagent 2-(1H-benzotriazol-1-yl)-1,1,3,3,-tetramethyluronium hexafluorophosphate (HBTU). Activation occurs very rapidly in N,N-dimethylformamide and N-methyl-pyrrolidone, optimal solvents for peptide-resin solvation. It has been observed that complete coupling reactions occur in only 10-30 min. Residues such as Arg, Ile, Leu and Val, which often require double coupling by other activation methods, react with high efficiency by single coupling when HBTU is used. The Fmoc/HBTU chemistry has recently been applied to the custom peptide synthesis. The incorporation of trityl side-chain protection for Fmoc-Asn and Fmoc-Gln further enhances coupling efficiencies in difficult sequences.
Abstract Peptide nucleic acids (PNAs) are DNA mimics with a neutral peptide backbone instead of the negatively charged sugar phosphates. PNAs exhibit several attractive features such as high chemical and thermal stability, resistance to enzymatic degradation, and stable binding to their RNA or DNA targets in a sequence-specific manner. Therefore, they are widely used in molecular diagnosis of antisense-targeted therapeutic drugs or probes and in pharmaceutical applications.
However, the main hindrance to the effective use of PNAs is their poor uptake by cells as well as the difficult and laborious chemical synthesis. In order to achieve an efficient delivery of PNAs into cells, there are already many published reports of peptides being used for transport across the cell membrane. In this protocol, we describe the automated as well as cost-effective semi-automated synthesis of PNAs and PNA-peptide constructs on an automated custom peptide synthesis. The facile synthesis of PNAs will be helpful in generating PNA libraries usable, e.g. for high-throughput screening in biomolecular studies. Efficient synthetic schemes, the automated procedure, the reduced consumption of costly reagen