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ACS Nano. 2016 Aug 23;10(8):7436-42. doi: 10.1021/acsnano.6b01587. Epub 2016 Jul 5.

Controlling the Physical Dimensions of Peptide Nanotubes by Supramolecular Polymer Coassembly.

Author information

1
School of Pharmacy, University of Nottingham , Nottingham, NG7 2RD, U.K.
2
Department of Chemistry, University of Cambridge , Lensfield Road, Cambridge, CB2 1EW, U.K.

Abstract

Molecular self-assembly of peptides into ordered nanotubes is highly important for various technological applications. Very short peptide building blocks, as short as dipeptides, can form assemblies with unique mechanical, optical, piezoelectric, and semiconductive properties. Yet, the control over nanotube length in solution has remained challenging, due to the inherent sequential self-assembly mechanism. Here, in line with polymer chemistry paradigms, we applied a supramolecular polymer coassembly methodology to modulate peptide nanotube elongation. Utilizing this approach, we achieved a narrow, controllable nanotube length distribution by adjusting the molecular ratio of the diphenylalanine assembly unit and its end-capped analogue. Kinetic analysis suggested a slower coassembly organization process as compared to the self-assembly dynamics of each of the building blocks separately. This is consistent with a hierarchal arrangement of the peptide moieties within the coassemblies. Mass spectrometry analysis demonstrated the bimolecular composition of the coassembled nanostructures. Moreover, the peptide nanotubes' length distribution, as determined by electron microscopy, was shown to fit a fragmentation kinetics model. Our results reveal a simple and efficient mechanism for the control of nanotube sizes through the coassembly of peptide entities at various ratios, allowing for the desired end-product formation. This dynamic size control offers tools for molecular engineering at the nanoscale exploiting the advantages of molecular coassembly.

KEYWORDS:

coassembly; diphenylalanine; peptide nanotubes; self-assembly; supramolecular polymers

PMID:
27351519
DOI:
10.1021/acsnano.6b01587
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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