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Self assembly and hydrogelation of N-terminal modified tetrapeptide for sustained release and synergistic action of antibacterial drugs against methicillin resistant S. aureus

Self assembly is a ubiquitous process of complex bio-molecules to perform various biological functions. This bottom-up approach applies in engineering of various nanostructures in different technological and biomedical applications. Here we report design and synthesis of phenolic acid conjugated tetra peptides which self assembled in uniform nanofibrils upon dissolution in aqueous solutions at physiological pH and formed stiff and transparent hydrogel. Gel inversion assay, HR-TEM, FT-IR, CD spectroscopy and rheometric analysis characterized the developed hydrogel (HG-2). This gel exhibits characteristics of thixotropy and injectability. Structure-gelation relationship studies of peptide revealed the importance of ?-? interactions in self assembly and hydrogelation. Further, this hydrogel used for entrapment and sustained release of antibiotics, rifampicin and ciprofloxacin at physiological pH and temperature for 5 days. The hydrogelator peptide has shown moderate antibacterial activity alone, whereas in combination with rifampicin and ciprofloxacin showed a remarkable synergistic antibacterial activity against clinically relevant multidrug resistant methicillin resistant S. aureus (MRSA). Interestingly, this hydrogel neither cause significant damage to hRBCs nor to human keratinocyte up to hydrogelation concentrations tested by haemolytic and MTT assay. These characteristics of present peptide hold future promising soft materials for treatment of infections and drug delivery applications.

Publication date: 01/09/2020

Author: Rikeshwer Prasad Dewangan, Shalini Kumari, Aman Kumar Mahto, Aditi Jain, Santosh Pasha

Bioorganic Chemistry


This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 870292.