skip to main content

Title: Emerging investigator series: characterization of silver and silver nanoparticle interactions with zinc finger peptides
In biological systems, chemical and physical transformations of engineered silver nanomaterials (AgENMs) are mediated, in part, by proteins and other biomolecules. Metalloprotein interactions with AgENMs are also central in understanding toxicity, antimicrobial, and resistance mechanisms. Despite their readily available thiolate and amine ligands, zinc finger (ZF) peptides have thus far escaped study in reaction with AgENMs and their Ag( i ) oxidative dissolution product. We report spectroscopic studies that characterize AgENM and Ag( i ) interactions with two ZF peptides that differ in sequence, but not in metal binding ligands: the ZF consensus peptide CP-CCHC and the C-terminal zinc finger domain of HIV-1 nucleocapsid protein p7 (NCp7_C). Both ZF peptides catalyze AgENM (10 and 40 nm, citrate coated) dissolution and agglomeration, two important AgENM transformations that impact bioreactivity. AgENMs and their oxidative dissolution product, Ag( i )(aq), mediate changes to ZF peptide structure and metalation as well. Spectroscopic titrations of Ag( i ) into apo-ZF peptides show an Ag( i )–thiolate charge transfer band, indicative of Ag( i )–ZF binding. Fluorescence studies of the Zn( ii )–NCp_7 complex indicate that the Ag( i ) also effectively competes with the Zn( ii ) to drive Zn( ii ) displacement from the more » ZFs. Upon interaction with AgENMs, Zn( ii ) bound ZF peptides show a secondary structural change in circular dichroism spectroscopy toward an apo-like structure. The results suggest that Ag( i ) and AgENMs may alter ZF protein function within the cell. « less
; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ;
Award ID(s):
1807773 1308675
Publication Date:
Journal Name:
Environmental Science: Nano
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
More Like this
  1. Oxide dissolution is important for metal extraction from ores and has become an attractive route for the preparation of inks for thin film solution deposition; however, oxide dissolution is often kinetically challenging. While binary “alkahest” systems comprised of thiols and N -donor species, such as amines, are known to dissolve a wide range of oxides, the mechanism of dissolution and identity of the resulting solute(s) remain unstudied. Here, we demonstrate facile dissolution of both bulk synthetic and natural mineral ZnO samples using an “alkahest” that operates via reaction with thiophenol and 1-methylimidazole (MeIm) to give a single, pseudotetrahedral Zn(SPh) 2 (MeIm) 2 molecular solute identified by X-ray crystallography. The kinetics of ZnO dissolution were measured using solution 1 H NMR, and the reaction was found to be zero-order in the presence of excess ligands, with more electron withdrawing para -substituted thiophenols resulting in faster dissolution. A negative entropy of activation was measured by Eyring analysis, indicating associative ligand binding in, or prior to, the rate determining step. Combined experimental and computational surface binding studies on ZnO reveal stronger, irreversible thiophenol binding compared to MeIm, leading to a proposed dissolution mechanism initiated by thiol binding to the ZnO surface with themore »liberation of water, followed by alternating MeIm and thiolate ligand additions, and ultimately cleavage of the ligated zinc complex from the ZnO surface. Design rules garnered from the mechanistic insight provided by this study should inform the dissolution of other bulk oxides into inks for solution processed thin films.« less
  2. Aqueous zinc-ion batteries (AZIBs) are promising candidates for large-scale electrical energy storage due to the inexpensive, safe, and non-toxic nature of zinc. One key area that requires further development is electrode materials that store Zn 2+ ions with high reversibility and fast kinetics. To determine the viability of low-cost organosulfur compounds as OEMs for AZIBs, we investigate how structural modification affects electrochemical performance in Zn-thiolate complexes 1 and 2. Remarkably, modification of one thiolate in 1 to sulfide in 2 reduces the voltage hysteresis from 1.04 V to 0.15 V. While 1 exhibits negligible specific capacity due to the formation of insulating DMcT polymers, 2 delivers a capacity of 107 mA h g −1 with a primary discharge plateau at 1.1 V vs. Zn 2+ /Zn. Spectroscopic studies of 2 suggest a Zn 2+ and H + co-insertion mechanism with Zn 2+ as the predominant charge carrier. Capacity fading in Zn-2 cells likely results from the formation of (i) soluble H + insertion products and (ii) non-redox-active side products. Increasing electrolyte concentration and using a Nafion membrane significantly enhances the stability of 2 by suppressing H + insertion. Our findings provide insight into the molecular design strategies to reduce themore »polarization potential and improve the cycling stability of the thiolate/disulfide redox couple in aqueous battery systems.« less
  3. Osella, Domenico (Ed.)
    Tetrapeptides containing a Cys-Gly-Cys motif and a propensity to adopt a reverse-turn structure were synthesized to evaluate how O-, N-, H-, and aromatic π donor groups might contribute to mercury(II) complex formation. Tetrapeptides Xaa-Cys-Gly-Cys, where Xaa is glycine, glutamate, histidine, or tryptophan, were prepared and reacted with mercury(II) chloride. Their complexation with mercury(II) was studied by spectroscopic methods and computational modeling. UV-vis studies confirmed that mercury(II) binds to the cysteinyl thiolates as indicated by characteristic ligand-to-metal-charge-transfer transitions for bisthiolated S-Hg-S complexes, which correspond to 1 : 1 mercury-peptide complex formation. ESI-MS data also showed dominant 1 : 1 mercury-peptide adducts that are consistent with double deprotonations from the cysteinyl thiols to form thiolates. These complexes exhibited a strong positive circular dichroism band at 210 nm and a negative band at 193 nm, indicating that these peptides adopted a β-turn structure after binding mercury(II). Theoretical studies confirmed that optimized 1 : 1 mercury-peptide complexes adopt β-turns stabilized by intramolecular hydrogen bonds. These optimized structures also illustrate how specific N-terminal side-chain donor groups can assume intramolecular interactions and contribute to complex stability. Fluorescence quenching results provided supporting data that the indole donor group could interact with the coordinated mercury. The results from this study indicate that N-terminal side-chain residues containingmore »carboxylate, imidazole, or indole groups can participate in stabilizing dithiolated mercury(II) complexes. These structural insights on peripheral mercury-peptide interactions provide additional understanding of the chemistry of mercury(II) with side-chain donor groups in peptides.« less
  4. The structure of a trinuclear zinc complex, hexakis(μ 2 -2-anilinobenzoato)diaquatrizinc(II), [Zn 2 (C 13 H 10 NO 2 ) 6 (H 2 O) 2 ] or (NPA) 6 Zn 3 (H 2 O) 2 (NPA is 2-anilinobenzoate or N -phenylanthranilate), is reported. The complex crystallizes in the triclinic space group P -1 and the central Zn II atom is located on an inversion center. The NPA ligand is found to coordinate via the carboxylate O atoms with unique C—O bond lengths that support an unequal distribution of resonance over the carboxylate fragment. The axial H 2 O ligands form hydrogen bonds with neighboring molecules that stabilize the supramolecular system in rigid straight chains, with an angle of 180° along the c axis. π stacking is the primary stabilization along the a and b axes, resulting in a highly ordered supramolecular structure. Docking studies show that this unique supramolecular structure of a trinuclear zinc complex has potential for binding to the main protease (M pro ) in SARS-CoV-2 in a different location from Remdesivir, but with a similar binding strength.
  5. While antibodies remain established therapeutic and diagnostic tools, other protein scaffolds are emerging as effective and safer alternatives. Affibodies in particular are a new class of small proteins marketed as bio-analytic reagents. They feature tailorable binding affinity, low immunogenicity, high tissue permeation, and high expression titer in bacterial hosts. This work presents the development of affibody-binding peptides to be utilized as ligands for their purification from bacterial lysates. Affibody-binding candidates were identified by screening a peptide library simultaneously against two model affibodies (anti-immunoglobulin G (IgG) and anti-albumin) with the aim of selecting peptides targeting the conserved domain of affibodies. An ensemble of homologous sequences identified from screening was synthesized on Toyopearl® resin and evaluated via binding studies to select sequences that afford high product binding and recovery. The affibody–peptide interaction was also evaluated by in silico docking, which corroborated the targeting of the conserved domain. Ligand IGKQRI was validated through purification of an anti-ErbB2 affibody from an Escherichia coli lysate. The values of binding capacity (~5 mg affibody per mL of resin), affinity (KD ~1 μM), recovery and purity (64–71% and 86–91%), and resin lifetime (100 cycles) demonstrate that IGKQRI can be employed as ligand in affibody purification processes.