Recently, catalytic peptides were introduced that mimicked protease activities and showed promising selectivity of products even in organic solvents where protease cannot perform well. However, their catalytic efficiency was extremely low compared to natural enzyme counterparts presumably due to the lack of stable tertiary fold. We hypothesized that assembling these peptides along with simple hydrophobic pockets, mimicking enzyme active sites, could enhance the catalytic activity. Here we fused the sequence of catalytic peptide CP4, capable of protease and esterase-like activities, into a short amyloidogenic peptide fragment of Aβ. When the fused CP4-Aβ construct assembled into antiparallel β- sheets and amyloid fibrils, a 4.0-fold increase in the hydrolysis rate of p-nitrophenyl acetate (p-NPA) compared to neat CP4 peptide was observed. The enhanced catalytic activity of CP4-Aβ assembly could be explained both by pre-organization of a catalytically competent Ser-His-acid triad and hydrophobic stabilization of a bound substrate between the triad and p-NPA, indicating that a design strategy for self-assembled peptides is important to accomplish the desired functionality.
Maeda, Yoshiaki; Fang, Justin; Ikezoe, Yasuhiro; Pike, Douglas H.; Nanda, Vikas; and Matsui, Hiroshi, "Molecular Self-Assembly Strategy for Generating Catalytic Hybrid Polypeptides" (2016). CUNY Academic Works.