Alkaline Phosphatase-Mimicking Peptide Nanofibers for Osteogenic Differentiation

Recognition of molecules and regulation of extracellular matrix synthesis are some of the functions of enzymes in addition to their catalytic activity. While a diverse array of enzyme-like materials have been developed, these efforts have largely been confined to the imitation of the chemical structure and catalytic activity of the enzymes, and it is unclear whether enzyme-mimetic molecules can also be used to replicate the matrix-regulatory roles ordinarily performed by natural enzymes. Self-assembled peptide nanofibers can provide multifunctional enzyme-mimetic properties, as the active sequences of the target enzymes can be directly incorporated into the peptides. Here, we report enhanced bone regeneration efficiency through peptide nanofibers carrying both catalytic and matrix-regulatory functions of alkaline phosphatase, a versatile enzyme that plays a critical role in bone formation by regulating phosphate homeostasis and calcifiable bone matrix formation. Histidine presenting peptide nanostructures were developed to function as phosphatases. These molecules are able to catalyze phosphate hydrolysis and serve as bone-like nodule inducing scaffolds. Alkaline phosphatase-like peptide nanofibers enabled osteogenesis for both osteoblast-like and mesenchymal cell lines.