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.
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