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Formation of α‑Helical Nanofibers by Mixing β‑Structured and α‑Helical Coiled Coil Peptides

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journal contribution
posted on 12.11.2012, 00:00 by Enrico Brandenburg, Hans v. Berlepsch, Jork Leiterer, Franziska Emmerling, Beate Koksch
The helical coiled coil is a well-studied folding motif that can be used for the design of nanometer-sized bioinspired fibrous structures with potential applications as functional materials. A two-component system of coiled coil based model peptides is investigated, which forms, under acidic conditions, uniform, hundreds of nanometers long, and ∼2.6 nm thick trimeric α-helical fibers. In the absence of the other component and under the same solvent conditions, one model peptide forms β-sheet-rich amyloid fibrils and the other forms stable trimeric α-helical coiled coils, respectively. These observations reveal that the complementary interactions driving helical folding are much stronger here than those promoting the intermolecular β-sheet formation. The results of this study are important in the context of amyloid inhibition but also open up new avenues for the design of novel fibrous peptidic materials.