A spectroscopic and molecular modeling study on novel pseudopeptides exhibiting biological activity.
ABSTRACT A series of pseudopeptides, containing two fluorophores, such as naphthalene (N) and indole (I), and exhibiting interesting biological activity as tachykinin receptor antagonists, were investigated by electronic absorption, CD and steady-state fluorescence experiments. In polar solvents (e.g. methanol), bioactivity is coupled with a stacked, charge-separated complex between I and N, the amount of which depends on the stereochemical features and conformational mobility of the central scaffold in the molecules examined. This agrees with the idea that dipolar charged, spatially close, aromatic moieties are important topochemical elements in the mechanism of action of these receptor antagonists. Molecular mechanics calculations allowed us to build up hypothetical, low-energy conformations of a few representative pseudopeptides, whose structural features are consistent with the experimental findings.