Display Settings:


Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1993 Apr 15;90(8):3334-8.

Spontaneous assembly of a self-complementary oligopeptide to form a stable macroscopic membrane.

Author information

  • 1Department of Biology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge 02139.
  • 2MIT, Cambridge, MA, Dept Biology


A 16-residue peptide [(Ala-Glu-Ala-Glu-Ala-Lys-Ala-Lys)2] has a characteristic beta-sheet circular dichroism spectrum in water. Upon the addition of salt, the peptide spontaneously assembles to form a macroscopic membrane. The membrane does not dissolve in heat or in acidic or alkaline solutions, nor does it dissolve upon addition of guanidine hydrochloride, SDS/urea, or a variety of proteolytic enzymes. Scanning EM reveals a network of interwoven filaments approximately 10-20 nm in diameter. An important component of the stability is probably due to formation of complementary ionic bonds between glutamic and lysine side chains. This phenomenon may be a model for studying the insoluble peptides found in certain neurological disorders. It may also have implications for biomaterials and origin-of-life research.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk