Jump to main content
Jump to site search

Issue 20, 2011
Previous Article Next Article

Switching of self-assembly in a peptide nanostructure with a specific enzyme

Author affiliations

Abstract

Peptide self-assembly has been shown to be a useful tool for the preparation of bioactive nanostructures, and recent work has demonstrated their potential as therapies for regenerative medicine. In principle, one route to make these nanostructures more biomimetic would be to incorporate in their molecular design the capacity for biological sensing. We report here on the use of a reversible enzymatic trigger to control the assembly and disassembly of peptide amphiphile (PA) nanostructures. The PA used in these studies contained a consensus substrate sequence specific to protein kinase A (PKA), a biological enzyme important for intracellular signaling that has also been shown to be an extracellular cancer biomarker. Upon treatment with PKA, this PA molecule becomes phosphorylated causing the high aspect-ratio filamentous PA nanostructures to disassemble. Treatment with an enzyme to cleave the phosphate group results in reformation of the filamentous nanostructures. We also show that disassembly in the presence of PKA allows the enzyme-triggered release of an encapsulated cancer drug. In addition, these drug-loaded nanostructures were found to induce preferential cytotoxicity in a cancer cell line that is known to secrete high levels of PKA. This ability to control nanostructure through an enzymatic switch could allow for the preparation of highly sophisticated and biomimetic materials that incorporate a biological sensing capability to enable therapeutic specificity.

Graphical abstract: Switching of self-assembly in a peptide nanostructure with a specific enzyme

Back to tab navigation
Please wait while Download options loads

Supplementary files

Publication details

The article was received on 06 Apr 2011, accepted on 31 May 2011 and first published on 14 Jul 2011


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C1SM05610G
Citation: Soft Matter, 2011,7, 9665-9672
  •   Request permissions

    Switching of self-assembly in a peptide nanostructure with a specific enzyme

    M. J. Webber, C. J. Newcomb, R. Bitton and S. I. Stupp, Soft Matter, 2011, 7, 9665
    DOI: 10.1039/C1SM05610G

Search articles by author