Cyanine Dye Coupling Mediates Self-assembly of a pH Sensitive Peptide into Novel 3D Architectures
Fernandes, Rita Chowdhary, Suvrat Mikula, Natalia Saleh, Noureldin Kanevche, Katerina von Berlepsch, Hans Hosogi, Naoki Heberle, Joachim Weber, Marcus Böttcher, Christoph Koksch, Beate – 2022
Synthetic multichromophore systems are of great importance in artificial light harvesting devices, organic optoelectronics, tumor imaging and therapy. Here, we introduce a promising strategy for the construction of self-assembled peptide templated dye stacks based on coupling of a de novo designed pH sensitive peptide with a cyanine dye Cy5 at its N-terminus. Microscopic techniques, in particular cryogenic TEM (cryo-TEM) and cryo-electron tomography technique (cryo-ET), reveal two types of highly ordered three-dimensional assembly structures on the micrometer scale. Unbranched compact layered rods are observed at pH 7.4 and two-dimensional membrane-like assemblies at pH 3.4, both species displaying spectral features of H-aggregates. Molecular dynamics simulations reveal that the coupling of Cy5 moieties promotes the formation of both ultrastructures, whereas the protonation states of acidic and basic amino acid side chains dictates their ultimate three-dimensional organization.