The impact of synthetic analogs of histidine on copper(II) and nickel(II) coordination properties to an albumin-like peptide. Possible leads towards new metallodrugs

J Inorg Biochem. 2014 Oct;139:1-8. doi: 10.1016/j.jinorgbio.2014.05.011. Epub 2014 Jun 2.


The purpose of our research was to obtain peptidomimetics possessing Cu(II) and Ni(II) binding properties, which would be useful for biomedical applications. In this context we used potentiometry, UV-VIS and CD spectroscopies to characterize the Cu(II) and Ni(II) binding properties of pentapeptide analogs of the N-terminal sequence of histatin 5. The peptides investigated had a general sequence DSXAK-am (am stands for C-terminal amide), with X including His and its three synthetic analogs, (4-thiazolyl)-L-alanine (1), (2-pyridyl)-L-alanine (2), and (pyrazol-1-yl)-L-alanine (3). The heterocyclic nitrogens present in these analogs were significantly more acidic than that of the His imidazole. We found that DSXAK-am peptides were able to bind Cu(II) and Ni(II) and form 4N complexes in a cooperative fashion, with similar affinities. These results indicate that acidic heterocyclic amino acids provide a viable alternative for histidine in peptidomimetics designed for metal ion binding.

Keywords: Complex formation; Copper(II); Nickel(II); Peptides; Synthetic amino acids.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Albumins / chemistry
  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Coordination Complexes / chemistry*
  • Copper / chemistry*
  • Histidine / analogs & derivatives*
  • Histidine / chemistry*
  • Hydrogen-Ion Concentration
  • Models, Molecular
  • Nickel / chemistry*
  • Oligopeptides / chemistry*
  • Protein Structure, Secondary


  • Albumins
  • Coordination Complexes
  • Oligopeptides
  • Histidine
  • Copper
  • Nickel