Chemosensors (Feb 2022)

A Peptide-Based Trap for Metal Ions Studied by Electron Paramagnetic Resonance

  • Victoria N. Syryamina,
  • Alvaro S. Siano,
  • Fernando Formaggio,
  • Marta De Zotti

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 10, no. 2
p. 71


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Peptide-based materials provide a versatile platform for sensing and ion sequestration since peptides are endowed with stimuli-responsive properties. The mechanism of molecular sensing is often based on peptide structural changes (or switching), caused by the binding of the target molecule. One scope of sensing applications is the selection of a specific analyte, which may be achieved by adjusting the structure of the peptide binding site. Therefore, exact knowledge of peptide properties and 3D-structure in the ‘switched’ state is desirable for tuning the detection and for further molecular construction. Hence, here we demonstrate the performance of Electron Paramagnetic Resonance (EPR) spectroscopy in the identification of metal ion binding by the antimicrobial peptide trichogin GA IV. Na(I), Ca(II), and Cu(II) ions were probed as analytes to evaluate the impact of coordination number, ionic radii, and charge. Conclusions drawn by EPR are in line with literature data, where other spectroscopic techniques were exploited to study peptide-ion interactions for trichogin GA IV, and the structural switch from an extended helix to a hairpin structure, wrapped around the metal ion upon binding of divalent cations was proposed.