Structural preferences of an anti-fouling peptide: From single chain to small molecular assemblies

David Zanuy, Sivan Nir, Carlos Aleman, Meital Reches

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The structural features of a tripeptide constituted by two different non-coded amino acids, 3,4-dihydroxy-L-phenylalanine (L-DOPA) and 4-fluoro-Phenylalanine, (Phe(4F)), have been investigated by means of classical mechanics simulations. This tripeptide had been characterised as an antifouling agent with great adhesion capabilities. In this work, its conformational preferences have been described in two different environments (gas phase and water solution), at three different pHs and with different degrees of terminal capping. At the same time, the structural dynamics of small aggregates of the tripeptide have been investigated and their ability to stabilise β-sheet based assemblies has been studied. The reported results describe the complexity of the tripeptide conformational preferences due to both the amphiphilic nature of its side chains, and the effect of the ionisation state resulting from the solution conditions. The investigations performed with small tripeptide assemblies in water solution reproduced the previously reported structural features, such as the polymorphism of its aggregates as a function of the pH. At edge pH values, the electrostatic screening imposed by the ions present in the solution facilitates the aggregation of the tripeptide chains, while at neutral pH and low concentrations of ionised species, the polar groups and the hydrogen bond capable groups impose their strength and lead to the disaggregation of the peptide clusters by favouring the solvation of individual chains rather than stabilising the aggregated states.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number106555
JournalBiophysical Chemistry
StatePublished - May 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Organic Chemistry


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