Noncovalent Modulation of the Inverse Temperature Transition and Self-Assembly of Elastin‑b‑Collagen-like Peptide Bioconjugates
journal contributionposted on 2015-12-16, 00:00 authored by Tianzhi Luo, Kristi L. Kiick
Stimuli-responsive nanostructures produced with peptide domains from the extracellular matrix offer great opportunities for imaging and drug delivery. Although the individual utility of elastin-like (poly)peptides and collagen-like peptides in such applications has been demonstrated, the synergistic advantages of combining these motifs in short peptide conjugates have surprisingly not been reported. Here, we introduce the conjugation of a thermoresponsive elastin-like peptide (ELP) with a triple-helix-forming collagen-like peptide (CLP) to yield ELP–CLP conjugates that show a remarkable reduction in the inverse transition temperature of the ELP domain upon formation of the CLP triple helix. The lower transition temperature of the conjugate enables the facile formation of well-defined vesicles at physiological temperature and the unexpected resolubilization of the vesicles at elevated temperatures upon unfolding of the CLP domain. Given the demonstrated ability of CLPs to modify collagens, our results not only provide a simple and versatile avenue for controlling the inverse transition behavior of ELPs, but also suggest future opportunities for these thermoresponsive nanostructures in biologically relevant environments.