A detailed investigation is reported about the primary structure of biodegradable branched polypeptides suitable for carrier function. The side chain distribution of poly[Lys(DL-Alam)], m ~ 3.5, the common inside area of a branched polypeptide model system, was determined by automated Edman degradation. These data indicate that 65% of the branches consist of 2–4 Ala residues and 25% of the side chains are longer than 4 amino-acid residues.The enantiomer composition of poly[Lys(XrDL-Alam)], (X = Glu, d-glu Leu, D-Leu) and of poly[Lys(DL-Ala2.9~Leu0.79)] polypeptides was investigated by HPLC analysis of their hydrolysates following de-rivatization with A-(5-fluoro-2,4-dinitrophenyl)-L-alanine amide (Marfey‘s reagent). The results proved that the synthesis methods applied for the preparation of branched polypeptides produce compounds whose enantiomer compositions are in good agreement with calculated expectations. These findings could be useful for the reliable interpretation of various biological phenomena observed in connection with the presence of L- or D-amino-acid residues in the side chains.
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