Molecular dynamics simulation of β-sheet formation in self-assembled peptide amphiphile fibers

Lee, One-Sun; Liu, Yamei; Schatz, George
August 2012
Journal of Nanoparticle Research;Aug2012, Vol. 14 Issue 8, p1
Academic Journal
The influence of amino acid sequence on the secondary structure of peptide amphiphile (PAs) cylindrical micelles and fibers that are self-assembled in solution is studied using molecular dynamics simulations. Simulations for two choices of PAs were performed, starting with structures that have the correct overall shape, but which restructure considerably during the simulation, with one fiber being composed of valine rich PAs and the other of alanine rich PAs. Self-assembly is similar in both simulations, with stable fibers (diameter is 7.7-8 nm) obtained after 40 ns. We find that the valine rich PA fiber has a higher β-sheet population than the alanine rich fiber, and that the number of hydrogen bonds is higher. This behavior of the valine rich fiber is consistent with experimental measurements of higher stiffness, and it shows that stiffness can be varied while still maintaining self-assembly.


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