Self-assembly of a catalytic multivalent peptide-nanoparticle complex

J Am Chem Soc. 2012 May 23;134(20):8396-9. doi: 10.1021/ja302754h. Epub 2012 May 10.


Catalytically active peptide-nanoparticle complexes were obtained by assembling small peptide sequences on the surface of cationic self-assembled monolayers on gold nanoparticles. When bound to the surface, the peptides accelerate the transesterification of the p-nitrophenyl ester of N-carboxybenzylphenylalanine by more than 2 orders of magnitude. The gold nanoparticle serves as a multivalent scaffold for bringing the catalyst and substrate into close proximity but also creates a local microenvironment that further enhances the catalysis. The supramolecular nature of the ensemble permits the catalytic activity of the system to be modulated in situ.