Self-assembled aggregates based on cationic amphiphilic peptides

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A1 Alkuperäisartikkeli tieteellisessä aikakauslehdessä
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Soft Matter, Volume 19, issue 25
Short and ultra-short peptides have recently emerged as suitable building blocks for the fabrication of self-assembled innovative materials. Peptide aggregation is strictly related to the amino acids composing the sequence and their capability to establish intermolecular interactions. Additional structural and functional properties can also be achieved by peptide derivatization (e.g. with polymeric moieties, alkyl chains or other organic molecules). For instance, peptide amphiphiles (PAs), containing one or more alkyl tails on the backbone, have a propensity to form highly ordered nanostructures like nanotapes, twisted helices, nanotubes and cylindrical nanostructures. Further lateral interactions among peptides can also promote hydrogelation. Here we report the synthesis and the aggregation behaviour of four PAs containing cationic tetra- or hexa-peptides (C19-VAGK, C19-K1, C19-K2 and C19-K3) derivatized with a nonadecanoic alkyl chain. In their acetylated (Ac-) or fluorenylated (Fmoc-) versions, these peptides previously demonstrated the ability to form biocompatible hydrogels potentially suitable as extracellular matrices for tissue engineering or diagnostic MRI applications. In the micromolar range, PAs self-assemble in aqueous solution into nanotapes, or small clusters, resulting in high biocompatibility on HaCat cells up to 72 hours of incubation. Moreover, C19-VAGK also forms a gel at a concentration of 5 wt%.
Funding Information: The authors are grateful for the award of synchrotron SAXS beam time at the ESRF (proposal no. MX2422) and the support of Mark Tully during the measurements. This work was supported by EPSRC Fellowship grant EP/V053396/1 to IWH. LDM acknowledges FAPESP grant number 19/20907-7 and Fellowship 2021/10092-6, linked to FAPESP scholarship 2019/19719-1. Publisher Copyright: © 2023 The Royal Society of Chemistry.
Rosa , E , Diaferia , C , De Mello , L , Seitsonen , J , Hamley , I W & Accardo , A 2023 , ' Self-assembled aggregates based on cationic amphiphilic peptides : structural insight ' , Soft Matter , vol. 19 , no. 25 , pp. 4686-4696 .