Dual self-assembly of supramolecular peptide nanotubes to provide stabilisation in water.
ABSTRACT: Self-assembling peptides have the ability to spontaneously aggregate into large ordered structures. The reversibility of the peptide hydrogen bonded supramolecular assembly make them tunable to a host of different applications, although it leaves them highly dynamic and prone to disassembly at the low concentration needed for biological applications. Here we demonstrate that a secondary hydrophobic interaction, near the peptide core, can stabilise the highly dynamic peptide bonds, without losing the vital solubility of the systems in aqueous conditions. This hierarchical self-assembly process can be used to stabilise a range of different ?-sheet hydrogen bonded architectures.
Project description:Herein, we report the design and characterization of guanosine-containing self-assembling nucleopeptides that form nanosheets and nanofibers. Through spectroscopy and microscopy analysis, we propose that the peptide component of the nucleopeptide drives the assembly into ?-sheet structures with hydrogen-bonded guanosine forming additional secondary structures cooperatively within the peptide framework. Interestingly, the distinct supramolecular morphologies are driven not by metal cation responsiveness common to guanine-based materials, but by the C-terminal peptide chemistry. This work highlights the structural diversity of self-assembling nucleopeptides and will help advance the development of applications for these supramolecular guanosine-containing nucleopeptides.
Project description:Peptide amphiphiles (PAs) previously designed in our laboratory are known to self-assemble into nanofibers that exhibit bioactivity both in vitro and in vivo. Self-assembly can be triggered by charge neutralization or salt-mediated screening of charged residues in their peptide sequences, and the resulting nanofibers can form macroscopic gels at concentrations as low as 0.5% by weight. Controlling the kinetics of gelation while retaining the bioactivity of nanofibers could be critical in tailoring these materials for specific clinical applications. We report here on a series of PAs with different rates of gelation resulting from changes in their peptide sequence without changing the bioactive segment. The pre-existence of hydrogen-bonded aggregates in the solution state of more hydrophobic PAs appears to accelerate gelation kinetics. Mutation of the peptide sequence to include more hydrophilic and bulky amino acids suppresses formation of these nuclei and effectively slows down gelation through self-assembly of the nanofiber network. The ability to modify gelation kinetics in self-assembling systems without disrupting bioactivity could be important for injectable therapies in regenerative medicine.
Project description:Peptoids are biofunctional <i>N</i>-substituted glycine peptidomimics. Their self-assembly is of fundamental interest because they demonstrate alternatives to conventional peptide structures based on backbone chirality and beta-sheet hydrogen bonding. The search for self-assembling, water-soluble "minimal" sequences, be they peptide or peptidomimic, is a further challenge. Such sequences are highly desired for their compatibility with biomacromolecules and convenient synthesis for broader application. We report the self-assembly of a set of trimeric, water-soluble ?-peptoids that exhibit a relatively low critical aggregation concentration (CAC ? 0.3 wt %). Cryo-EM and angle-resolved DLS show different sequence-dependent morphologies, namely uniform ca. 6 nm wide nanofibers, sheets, and clusters of globular assemblies. Absorbance and fluorescence spectroscopies indicate unique phenyl environments for ?-interactions in the highly ordered nanofibers. Assembly of our peptoids takes place when the sequences are fully ionized, representing a departure from superficially similar amyloid-type hydrogen-bonded peptide nanostructures and expanding the horizons of assembly for sequence-specific bio- and biomimetic macromolecules.
Project description:Liquid state self-assembly is important for the understanding of the complex structures developed in abiogenesis and biogenesis as well as for numerous potential technological applications. Herein we report the first body-centered cubic liquid crystalline phase with 8-connected network topology and open octahedral network structure. It is formed by dynamic soft self-assembly of X-shaped polyphiles with oligo(para-phenylene-ethynylene) cores. The ?-conjugated rods with perfluorinated inner benzene rings form networks conjoined by eight-way junctions, which are formed by nano-segregated spheres involving hydrogen-bonded polar end groups, while the branched aliphatic chains at opposite sides of the cores fill the continuum. This novel cubic phase is based on the I-WP minimal surface separating the frameworks of polyaromatic cores from the most disordered chain segments. It can also be considered as a dense sphere packing. Such liquid organic frameworks, representing hybrids of sphere packings and networks could be of interest for organic photonics and other technologies.
Project description:The self-assembly of peptides into ordered nanostructures is important for understanding both peptide molecular interactions and nanotechnological applications. However, because of the complexity and various self-assembling pathways of peptide molecules, design of self-assembling helical peptides with high controllability and tunability is challenging. We report a new self-assembling mode that uses in-tether chiral center-induced helical peptides as a platform for tunable peptide self-assembly with good controllability. It was found that self-assembling behavior was governed by in-tether substitutional groups, where chirality determined the formation of helical structures and aromaticity provided the driving force for self-assembly. Both factors were essential for peptide self-assembly to occur. Experiments and theoretical calculations indicate long-range crystal-like packing in the self-assembly, which was stabilized by a synergy of interpeptide π-π and π-sulfur interactions and hydrogen bond networks. In addition, the self-assembled peptide nanomaterials were demonstrated to be promising candidate materials for applications in biocompatible electrochemical supercapacitors.
Project description:A new strategy towards tubular hydrogen-bonded polymers based on the self-assembly of isocytosine tautomers in orthogonal directions is proposed and experimentally verified, including by <sup>1</sup> H fast magic-angle spinning (MAS) solid-state NMR. The molecular tubes obtained possess large internal diameter and tailor-made outer functionalities rendering them potential candidates for a number of applications.
Project description:The variety and complexity of DNA-based structures make them attractive candidates for nanotechnology, yet insufficient stability and mechanical rigidity, compared to polyamide-based molecules, limit their application. Here, we combine the advantages of polyamide materials and the structural patterns inspired by nucleic-acids to generate a mechanically rigid fluorenylmethyloxycarbonyl (Fmoc)-guanine peptide nucleic acid (PNA) conjugate with diverse morphology and photoluminescent properties. The assembly possesses a unique atomic structure, with each guanine head of one molecule hydrogen bonded to the Fmoc carbonyl tail of another molecule, generating a non-planar cyclic quartet arrangement. This structure exhibits an average stiffness of 69.6 ± 6.8 N m<sup>-1</sup> and Young's modulus of 17.8 ± 2.5 GPa, higher than any previously reported nucleic acid derived structure. This data suggests that the unique cation-free "basket" formed by the Fmoc-G-PNA conjugate can serve as an attractive component for the design of new materials based on PNA self-assembly for nanotechnology applications.
Project description:Biocompatible hydrogels have a wide variety of potential applications in biotechnology and medicine, such as the controlled delivery and release of cells, cosmetics and drugs, and as supports for cell growth and tissue engineering. Rational peptide design and engineering are emerging as promising new routes to such functional biomaterials. Here, we present the first examples of rationally designed and fully characterized self-assembling hydrogels based on standard linear peptides with purely alpha-helical structures, which we call hydrogelating self-assembling fibres (hSAFs). These form spanning networks of alpha-helical fibrils that interact to give self-supporting physical hydrogels of >99% water content. The peptide sequences can be engineered to alter the underlying mechanism of gelation and, consequently, the hydrogel properties. Interestingly, for example, those with hydrogen-bonded networks of fibrils melt on heating, whereas those formed through hydrophobic fibril-fibril interactions strengthen when warmed. The hSAFs are dual-peptide systems that gel only on mixing, which gives tight control over assembly. These properties raise possibilities for using the hSAFs as substrates in cell culture. We have tested this in comparison with the widely used Matrigel substrate, and demonstrate that, like Matrigel, hSAFs support both growth and differentiation of rat adrenal pheochromocytoma cells for sustained periods in culture.
Project description:We here report a new approach to develop self-healing shape memory supramolecular liquid-crystalline (LC) networks through self-assembly of molecular building blocks <i>via</i> combination of hydrogen bonding and coordination bonding. We have designed and synthesized supramolecular LC polymers and networks based on the complexation of a forklike mesogenic ligand with Ag<sup>+</sup> ions and carboxylic acids. Unidirectionally aligned fibers and free-standing films forming layered LC nanostructures have been obtained for the supramolecular LC networks. We have found that hybrid supramolecular LC networks formed through metal-ligand interactions and hydrogen bonding exhibit both self-healing properties and shape memory functions, while hydrogen-bonded LC networks only show self-healing properties. The combination of hydrogen bonds and metal-ligand interactions allows the tuning of intermolecular interactions and self-assembled structures, leading to the formation of the dynamic supramolecular LC materials. The new material design presented here has potential for the development of smart LC materials and functional LC membranes with tunable responsiveness.
Project description:The enzymatic cleavage of a peptide amphiphile (PA) is investigated. The self-assembly of the cleaved products is distinct from that of the PA substrate. The PA C16-KKFFVLK is cleaved by ?-chymotrypsin at two sites leading to products C16-KKF with FVLK and C16-KKFF with VLK. The PA C16-KKFFVLK forms nanotubes and helical ribbons at room temperature. Both PAs C16-KKF and C16-KKFF corresponding to cleavage products instead self-assemble into 5-6 nm diameter spherical micelles, while peptides FVLK and VLK do not adopt well-defined aggregate structures. The secondary structures of the PAs and peptides are examined by FTIR and circular dichroism spectroscopy and X-ray diffraction. Only C16-KKFFVLK shows substantial ?-sheet secondary structure, consistent with its self-assembly into extended aggregates, based on PA layers containing hydrogen-bonded peptide headgroups. This PA also exhibits a thermoreversible transition to twisted tapes on heating.