Supramolecular aggregates obtained by self-aggregation of five new cationic amphiphilic CCK8 peptides have been obtained in water solution and characterized for: (i) aggregate structure and stability; (ii) CCK8 peptide conformation and bioavailability on the external aggregate surface; and (iii) for their cell binding properties. The cationic amphiphilic CCK8 peptides self-aggregate giving a combination of liposomal and micelle structures, with radii ranging between ∼60 nm and ∼90 nm, and between ∼5 and ∼10 nm, respectively. The presence of CCK8 peptide well-exposed on the aggregate surface is demonstrated by fluorescence measurements. Peptide conformation changes in the five supramolecular aggregates: the CCK8 conformational behaviour is probably induced by the presence of three charged lysine residues close to the bioactive peptide sequence. Only aggregates in which the CCK8 peptide presents a structural arrangement similar to that found for the same peptide in DPC micelles give promising binding properties to CCK2-R receptors overexpressed by transfected A431 cells. Chemical modifications on the CCK8 N-terminus seem to play an important role in stabilizing the peptide active conformation, either when the peptide derivative is in monomeric or in aggregate form. For their easy preparation procedures and their binding properties, supramolecular aggregates based on cationic peptide amphiphiles can be considered as promising candidates for target selective drug carriers on cancer cells.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology