New dendrimer - Peptide host - Guest complexes: Towards dendrimers as peptide carriers

Ulrik Boas, S.H.M. Sontjens, Knud Jørgen Jensen, J.B. Christensen, E.W. Meijer

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Adamantyl urea and adamantyl thiourea modified poly(propylene imine) dendrimers act as hosts for N-terminal tert-butoxycarbonyl (Boc)-protected peptides and form chloroform-soluble complexes. investigations with NMR spectroscopy show that the peptide is bound to the dendrimer by ionic interactions between the dendrimer outer shell tertiary amines and the C-terminal carboxylic acid of the peptide, and also through host-urea to peptide-amide hydrogen bonding. The hydrogen-bonding nature of the peptide dendrimer interactions was further confirmed by using Fourier transform IR spectroscopy, for which the NH- and CO-stretch signals of the peptide amide moieties shift towards lower wave-numbers upon complexation with the dendrimer. Spatial analysis of the complexes with NOESY spectroscopy generally shows close proximity of the N-terminal Boc group of the peptide to the peripheral adamantyl groups on the dendrimer host. The influence of side-chain motif on interactions with the host is analyzed by using seven different N-Boc-protected tripeptides as guests for the dendrimer, Downfield shifts of up to 1.3 ppm were observed for the guest amide NH-proton signals. These shifts decrease with increasing 'bulkiness' of the amino acid side chains. Despite this, the dendrimer was capable of making multiple peptide-dendrimer complexes when presented with a library of seven peptides. The different peptides were all present in the host, which did not show specific preferences, and could be released under mild acidic conditions. These results show the general nature of the peptide dendrimer interactions in the formation of either single- or multiple-peptide-dendrimer complexes.
Original languageEnglish
Issue number5
Pages (from-to)433-439
Publication statusPublished - 2002


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