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Hierarchical Organization of Ferrocene–Peptides

Authors

  • Samaneh Beheshti,

    1. Department of Physical and Environmental Sciences, University of Toronto at Scarborough, 1265 Military Trail, Toronto, ON, M1C 1A4 (Canada), Fax: (+1) 416-287-7279
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  • Dr. Sanela Martić,

    1. Department of Physical and Environmental Sciences, University of Toronto at Scarborough, 1265 Military Trail, Toronto, ON, M1C 1A4 (Canada), Fax: (+1) 416-287-7279
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  • Prof. Heinz-Bernhard Kraatz

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Physical and Environmental Sciences, University of Toronto at Scarborough, 1265 Military Trail, Toronto, ON, M1C 1A4 (Canada), Fax: (+1) 416-287-7279
    • Department of Physical and Environmental Sciences, University of Toronto at Scarborough, 1265 Military Trail, Toronto, ON, M1C 1A4 (Canada), Fax: (+1) 416-287-7279
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Abstract

Hierarchical self-assembly of disubstituted ferrocene (Fc)–peptide conjugates that possess Gly-Val-Phe and Gly-Val-Phe-Phe peptide substituents leads to the formation of nano- and micro-sized assemblies. Hydrogen-bonding and hydrophobic interactions provide directionality to the assembly patterns. The self-assembling behavior of these compounds was studied in solution by using 1H NMR and circular dichroism (CD) spectroscopies. In the solid state, attenuated total reflectance (ATR) FTIR spectroscopy, single-crystal X-ray diffraction (XRD), powder X-ray diffraction (PXRD), and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) methods were used. Spontaneous self-assembly of Fc–peptides through intra- and intermolecular hydrogen-bonding interactions induces supramolecular assemblies, which further associate and give rise to fibers, large fibrous crystals, and twisted ropes. In the case of Fc[CO-Gly-Val-Phe-OMe]2 (1), molecules initially interact to form pleated sheets that undergo association into long fibers that form bundles and rectangular crystalline cuboids. Molecular offsets and defects, such as screw dislocations and solvent effects that occur during crystal growth, induce the formation of helical arrangements, ultimately leading to large twisted ropes. By contrast, the Fc–tetrapeptide conjugate Fc[CO-Gly-Val-Phe-Phe-OMe]2 (2) forms a network of nanofibers at the supramolecular level, presumably due to the additional hydrogen-bonding and hydrophobic interactions that stem from the additional Phe residues.

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