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Keywords:

  • Surface-enhanced Raman scattering, SERS;
  • neurotensin family peptides;
  • kinetensin;
  • KN;
  • neuromedin N;
  • NMN;
  • xenopsin, XP

Kinetensin (KN) and its amino acids 1–8 fragment ([des-Leu9]KN), neuromedin N (NMN), and xenopsin (XP) and its two analogs (human XP-1/xenin-8 and XP-2) belong to the neurotensin family of peptides and are known to stimulate the growth of human tumors. In this work, we report surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) studies of these peptides and discuss their structures, orientation, and mode of adsorption onto a colloidal assembly of apparently randomly adhering Ag spheres with diameters of approximately 20 – 25 nm. We show that small alternations in both the amino acid composition and tertiary structure, which induce striking biological in vitro, were responsible for the observed spectroscopic changes. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.