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ACS Appl Mater Interfaces. 2016 Jun 22;8(24):15093-102. doi: 10.1021/acsami.6b03770. Epub 2016 Jun 7.

Enzymatic Regulation of Self-Assembling Peptide A9K2 Nanostructures and Hydrogelation with Highly Selective Antibacterial Activities.

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State Key Laboratory of Heavy Oil Processing and Centre for Bioengineering and Biotechnology, China University of Petroleum (East China) , 66 Changjiang West Road, Qingdao 266580, China.
Biological Physics Laboratory, School of Physics and Astronomy and Manchester Pharmacy School, University of Manchester , Schuster Building, Manchester M13 9PL, U. K.


Hydrogels offer great potential for many biomedical and technological applications. For clinical uses, hydrogels that act as scaffold materials for cell culture, regenerative medicine, and drug delivery are required to have bactericidal properties. The amphiphilic peptide A9K2 was designed to effectively inhibit bacterial growth via a mechanism of membrane permeabilization. The present study demonstrated that addition of fetal bovine serum (FBS) or plasma amine oxidase (PAO) induced a sol-gel transition in A9K2 aqueous solutions. The transformation of A9K2 molecules catalyzed by lysyl oxidase (LO) in FBS or PAO accounted for the hydrogelation. Importantly, the enzymatic A9K2 hydrogel displayed high antibacterial ability against both Gram-negative and Gram-positive bacterial strains while showing extremely low mammalian cell cytotoxicity, thus demonstrating good biocompatibility. Under established coculture conditions, the peptide hydrogel showed excellent selectivity by favoring the adherence and spreading of mammalian cells, while killing pathogenic bacteria, thus avoiding bacterial contamination. These advantages endow the enzymatic A9K2 hydrogel with great potential for biomedical applications.


antibacterial activity; cell selectivity; enzyme; hydrogel; self-assembly; short peptide

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