- The self-assembly mechanism of fibril-forming silk-based block copolymers
- Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics
- Volume | Issue number
- 13 | 22
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Science (FNWI)
- Van 't Hoff Institute for Molecular Sciences (HIMS)
Triblock copolymers consisting of a silk-based ((Gly-Ala)3Gly-Glu) repeat flanked by hydrophilic outer blocks self-assemble into micrometer long fibrils in response to a trigger. Since the exact mechanism of the fibril formation remains unclear, we employ a multiscale modelling approach in combination with rare event simulations to elucidate key processes. Atomistic scale simulations on the silk-based block suggest a mechanism in which a polypeptide prefolded into a β-roll structure docks to the growing end of a fibril through the formation of Glu-Glu sidechain contacts. Subsequently it can slide to the optimal position before water is expelled to form a dry interface between the fibril end and the attaching block copolymer. In addition, we find that the folded state of the silk-based block is further stabilised through interactions with its neighboring block. Templated folding may also play a role in case a partially folded polypeptide attaches. The coarse-grained simulations indicate that the attachment and subsequent sliding is mediated by the hydrophilic flanks in a size dependent manner. The hydrophilic blocks prevent random aggregation and allow growth only at the end of the fibril. Our multiscale approach may be used for other fibril-forming peptides.
- go to publisher's site
If you believe that digital publication of certain material infringes any of your rights or (privacy) interests, please let the Library know, stating your reasons. In case of a legitimate complaint, the Library will make the material inaccessible and/or remove it from the website. Please Ask the Library, or send a letter to: Library of the University of Amsterdam, Secretariat, Singel 425, 1012 WP Amsterdam, The Netherlands. You will be contacted as soon as possible.