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Molecular engineering of rigid hydrogels co-assembled from collagenous helical peptides based on a single triplet motif

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journal contribution
posted on 2023-03-16, 12:39 authored by Santu Bera, Pierre CazadePierre Cazade, Shayon BhattacharyaShayon Bhattacharya, SARAH GUERINSARAH GUERIN, Moumita Ghosh, Francesca Netti, DAMIEN THOMPSONDAMIEN THOMPSON, Lihi Adler-Abramovich

The potential of ultra-short peptides to self-assemble into well-ordered functional nanostructures makes them promising minimal components for mimicking the basic ingredient of nature and diverse biomaterials. However, selection and modular design of perfect de novo sequences are extremely tricky due to their vast possible combinatorial space. Moreover, a single amino acid substitution can drastically alter the supramolecular packing structure of short peptide assemblies. Here, we report the design of rigid hybrid hydrogels produced by sequence engineering of a new series of ultra-short collagen-mimicking tripeptides. Connecting glycine with different combinations of proline and its post-translational product 4-hydroxyproline, the single triplet motif, displays the natural collagen-helix-like structure. Improved mechanical rigidity is obtained via co-assembly with the non-collagenous hydrogelator, fluorenylmethoxycarbonyl (Fmoc) diphenylalanine. Characterizations of the supramolecular interactions that promote the self-supporting and self-healing properties of the co-assemblies are performed by physicochemical experiments and atomistic models. Our results clearly demonstrate the significance of sequence engineering to design functional peptide motifs with desired physicochemical and electromechanical properties and reveal co-assembly as a promising strategy for the utilization of small, readily accessible biomimetic building blocks to generate hybrid biomolecular assemblies with structural heterogeneity and functionality of natural materials 



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ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces 14 (41), pp. 46827-46840



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