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Amphiphilic Nucleobase-Containing Polypeptide Copolymers—Synthesis and Self-Assembly

Abstract : Nucleobase-containing polymers are an emerging class of building blocks for the self-assembly of nanoobjects with promising applications in nanomedicine and biology. Here we present a macromolecular engineering approach to design nucleobase-containing polypeptide polymers incorporating thymine that further self-assemble in nanomaterials. Diblock and triblock copolypeptide polymers were prepared using sequential ring-opening polymerization of γ-Benzyl-l-glutamate N-carboxyanhydride (BLG-NCA) and γ-Propargyl-l-glutamate N-carboxyanhydride (PLG-NCA), followed by an efficient copper(I)-catalyzed azide alkyne cycloaddition (CuAAc) functionalization with thymidine monophosphate. Resulting amphiphilic copolymers were able to spontaneously form nanoobjects in aqueous solutions avoiding a pre-solubilization step with an organic solvent. Upon self-assembly, light scattering measurements and transmission electron microscopy (TEM) revealed the impact of the architecture (diblock versus triblock) on the morphology of the resulted nanoassemblies. Interestingly, the nucleobase-containing nanoobjects displayed free thymine units in the shell that were found available for further DNA-binding.
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Submitted on : Saturday, June 20, 2020 - 11:18:55 AM
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Michel Nguyen, Khalid Ferji, Sébastien Lecommandoux, Colin Bonduelle. Amphiphilic Nucleobase-Containing Polypeptide Copolymers—Synthesis and Self-Assembly. Polymers, MDPI, 2020, 12 (6), pp.1357. ⟨10.3390/polym12061357⟩. ⟨hal-02876032⟩



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