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Labeling of Nanofiber-Forming Peptides by Site-Directed Bioconjugation: Effect of Spacer Length on Self-Assembly

[ Vol. 16 , Issue. 2 ]


Alessandra Scelsi, Brigida Bochicchio* and Antonietta Pepe*   Pages 319 - 325 ( 7 )


Background: The conjugation of small organic molecules to self-assembling peptides is a versatile tool to decorate nanostructures with original functionalities. Labeling with chromophores or fluorophores, for example, creates optically active fibers with potential interest in photonic devices.

Aim and Objective: In this work, we present a rapid and effective labeling procedure for a self-assembling peptide able to form nanofibers. Rapid periodate oxidation of the N-terminal serine residue of the peptide and subsequent conjugation with dansyl moiety generated fluorophore-decorated peptides.

Results: Three dansyl-conjugated self-assembling peptides with variable spacer-length were synthesized and characterized and the role of the size of the linker between fluorophore and peptide in self-assembling was investigated. Our results show that a short linker can alter the self-assembly in nanofibers of the peptide.

Conclusions: Herein we report on an alternative strategy for creating functionalized nanofibrils, able to expand the toolkit of chemoselective bioconjugation strategies to be used in site-specific decoration of self-assembling peptides.


Bioconjugation, peptide, periodate oxidation, self-assembly, fluorescent tag, atomic force microscopy.


Department of Science, University of Basilicata, Potenza, Department of Science, University of Basilicata, Potenza, Department of Science, University of Basilicata, Potenza

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