American Chemical Society
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Self-Assembling Peptide Inspired by a Barnacle Underwater Adhesive Protein

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journal contribution
posted on 2007-06-11, 00:00 authored by Masahiro Nakano, Jian-Ren Shen, Kei Kamino
An underwater bioadhesive generally comprises a multiprotein complex that provides a molecular basis for self-assembly. We report here a new class of self-assembling peptide inspired by a 20 kDa barnacle cement protein. Studies on the chemically synthesized 24-residue peptide have revealed that (1) it underwent irreversible self-assembly upon the addition of salt, (2) the self-assembly was started at a salt concentration close to that of seawater with noncovalent intermolecular interactions, (3) the self-assembled material resembled a macroscopic membrane of interwoven nanofilaments, (4) incubation in an alkaline pH range formed the intramolecular disulfide bond of a peptide molecule, thus triggering a conformation change of the molecule, and (5) conformational change of the building block promoted the formation of a nanofiber, resulting in the display of a three-dimensional meshlike mesoscopic structure with defined pores having a diameter of approximately 200 nm. The peptide is likely to provide a suitable basis for further development of peptide-based materials.