Conformational dynamics and aggregation behavior of piezoelectric diphenylalanine peptides in an external electric field.

Abstract

Aromatic peptides including diphenylalanine (FF) have the capacity to self-assemble into ordered, biocompatible nanostructures with piezoelectric properties relevant to a variety of biomedical applications. Electric fields are commonly applied to align FF nanotubes, yet little is known about the effect of the electric field on the assembly process. Using all-atom molecular dynamics with explicit water molecules, we examine the response of FF monomers to the application of a constant external electric field over a range of intensities. We probe the aggregation mechanism of FF peptides, and find that the presence of even relatively weak fields can accelerate ordered aggregation, primarily by facilitating the alignment of individual molecular dipole moments. This is modulated by the conformational response of individual FF peptides (e.g., backbone stretching) and by the cooperative alignment of neighboring FF and water molecules. These observations may facilitate future studies on the controlled formation of nanostructured aggregates of piezoelectric peptides and the understanding of their electro-mechanical properties.

DOI: 10.1016/j.bpc.2014.08.009

Cite this paper

@article{Kelly2015ConformationalDA, title={Conformational dynamics and aggregation behavior of piezoelectric diphenylalanine peptides in an external electric field.}, author={Catherine Kelly and Thomas Northey and Kate E Ryan and Bernard R. Brooks and Andrei L Kholkin and Brian J Rodriguez and Nicolae-Viorel Buchete}, journal={Biophysical chemistry}, year={2015}, volume={196}, pages={16-24} }