Epimerization-free C-term Activation of Peptide Fragments by Ball-Milling

Ball-milling enabled to perform [2+1], [2+2], and [2+3] peptide couplings with high yields and, if any, very low epimerization. Very good results were obtained with peptide fragments containing highly epimerization-prone and/or highly hindered amino acids at C-term such as phenylglycine, cysteine and valine. Ball-milling was clearly identified as the key element to obtain both high yield and purity along with low epimerization. Indeed, the ball-milling conditions proved to be superior to the classical solution synthesis approach on a various array of widely used coupling agents. These results open avenues for the development of highly efficient, convergent and flexible peptide synthesis strategies based on peptide fragment couplings mediated by ball-milling.