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Molecular Insight into the β‑Sheet Twist and Related Morphology of Self-Assembled Peptide Amphiphile Ribbons

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journal contribution
posted on 2021-11-11, 20:03 authored by Qinsi Xiong, Samuel I. Stupp, George C. Schatz
Self-assembly of high-aspect-ratio filaments containing β-sheets has attracted much attention due to potential use in bioengineering and biomedicine. However, precisely predicting the assembled morphologies remains a grand challenge because of insufficient understanding of the self-assembly process. We employed an atomistic model to study the self-assembly of peptide amphiphiles (PAs) containing valine–glutamic acid (VE) dimeric repeats. By changing of the sequence length, the assembly morphology changes from flat ribbon to left-handed twisted ribbon, implying a relationship between β-sheet twist and strength of interstrand hydrogen bonds. The calculations are used to quantify this relationship including both magnitude and sign of the ribbon twist angle. Interestingly, a change in chirality is observed when we introduce the RGD epitope into the C-terminal of VE repeats, suggesting arginine and glycine’s role in suppressing right-handed β-sheet formation. This study provides insight into the relationship between β-sheet twist and self-assembled nanostructures including a possible design rule for PA self-assembly.