Supramolecular helical self-assembly of small peptides
The self-assembly of peptides forming various micro to nanostructures has several applications in nanobiotechnology. β-Sheet based peptides are well known as they are abundant in nature, e.g., silk and amyloid fibrils. Therefore, the self-assembly of small β-sheet peptides and their potent applications are well explored to date. On the other hand, various helical secondary structures are also abundant in nature. Like β-sheet peptides, small peptide-based helical assemblies are not explored enough, but they also attract attention for fabricating various artificial nanomaterials in recent times. This highlight focuses on single-crystal X-ray diffraction (SC-XRD) based analysis of the supramolecular arrangement, conformation, and higher-order assembly of small helical peptides. We outline the role of building blocks and their structural beauty to adopt helical assembly, including single-, double- and triple-stranded helices. We also describe their micro or nano-level structures obtained from the solution and their potent applications as drug delivery vehicles, as porous materials for N2 adsorption, and for nanomaterial fabrication.
- This article is part of the themed collection: 2021 Highlight article collection