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Carboxylate−Imidazole Cooperativity in Dipeptide-Functionalized Gold Nanoparticles with Esterase-like Activity

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journal contribution
posted on 16.02.2005, 00:00 by Paolo Pengo, Stefano Polizzi, Lucia Pasquato, Paolo Scrimin
We report here the first example of peptide-functionalized gold nanoparticles hydrolytically active against carboxylate esters. The active units are constituted by His-Phe-OH terminating thiols. The confinement of the catalytic units in the monolayer covering the nanoparticles triggers a cooperative hydrolytic mechanism operative at pH < 7 in which a carboxylate and an imidazolium ion act as general base and general acid, respectively. Such a mechanism is absent with an analogous monomeric dipeptide, and this results in a more than 300-fold rate acceleration of the hydrolytic process at low pH in the presence of the functional nanoparticles.