(665c) Self-Assembled Peptides with RGD Motifs As Scaffolds for Tissue Engineering

Authors: 
Jonnalagadda, S. V. R., Texas A&M University
Deidda, G., University of Crete
Mitraki, A., University of Crete
Tamamis, P., TAMU
Self-assembled peptides gain increasing interest as biocompatible and biodegradable scaffolds for tissue engineering (1). Rationally designed self-assembling building blocks that carry cell attachment motifs such as RGD are especially attractive. We have been using a combination of theoretical and experimental approaches towards such rational designs (2-5). We have been especially focusing on modular designs that consist of a central ultrashort amphiphilic motif derived from the adenovirus fiber shaft (2-4). This central motif is combined with the RGD motif and cysteine residues that allow further functionalization possibilities, such as conjugation of growth factors or attachment to surfaces. We employed replica exchange MD simulations and free energy calculations using CHARMM (6) to computationally investigate the self-assembly properties of possible designed peptide sequences. Our simulations provide insights into the amyloidogenic β-sheet rich self-assembling conformations of the peptides. We performed a detailed analysis on the highly-ordered and well- aligned β-sheet containing conformations and provided insights into the structural arrangement of the peptidesâ?? functional groups. The designer peptides experimentally self-assemble into fibers that are structurally characterized with Transmission Electron Microscopy, Scanning Electron Microscopy and X-ray fiber diffraction. Furthermore, they support cell attachment and proliferation of model cell lines. Such short self-assembling peptides that are amenable to computational design offer open-ended possibilities towards multifunctional tissue engineering scaffolds of the future.

References

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