Elastin comprises hydrophobic repetitive sequences, such as Val-Pro-Gly-Val-Gly, which are thought to be important for the temperature-dependent reversible self-association (coacervation). Elastin and elastin-like peptides (ELPs), owing to their characteristics, are expected to be applied as base materials for the development of new molecular tools, such as drug-delivery system carrier and metal-scavenging agents. Recently, several studies have been reported on the dendritic or branching ELP analogues. Although the topological difference of the branched ELPs compared to their linear counterparts may lead to useful properties in biomaterials, the available information regarding the effect of branching on molecular architecture and thermoresponsive behavior of ELPs is scarce. To obtain further insight into the thermoresponsive behavior of branched ELPs, novel ELPs, such as nitrilotriacetic acid (NTA)-(FPGVG)n conjugates, that is, (NTA)-Fn analogues possessing 1-3 (FPGVG)n (n = 3, 5) molecule(s), were synthesized and investigated for their coacervation ability. Turbidity measurement of the synthesized peptide analogues revealed that (NTA)-Fn analogues showed strong coacervation ability with various strengths. The transition temperature of NTA-Fn analogues exponentially decreased with increasing number of residues. In the circular dichroism measurements, trimerization did not alter the secondary structure of each peptide chain of the NTA-Fn analogue. In addition, it was also revealed that the NTA-Fn analogue possesses one peptide chain that could be utilized as metal-scavenging agents. The study findings indicated that multimerization of short ELPs via NTA is a useful and powerful strategy to obtain thermoresponsive molecules.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Chemical Engineering(all)