Hollow Octadecameric Self-Assembly of Collagen-like Peptides.

Le Tracy Yu, Maria C Hancu, Mark A B Kreutzberger, Amy Henrickson, Borries Demeler, Edward H Egelman, Jeffrey D Hartgerink


The folding of collagen is a hierarchical process that starts with three peptides associating into the characteristic triple helical fold. Depending on the specific collagen in question, these triple helices then assemble into bundles reminiscent of α-helical coiled-coils. Unlike α-helices, however, the bundling of collagen triple helices is very poorly understood with almost no direct experimental data available. In order to shed light on this critical step of collagen hierarchical assembly, we have examined the collagenous region of complement component 1q. Thirteen synthetic peptides were prepared to dissect the critical regions allowing for its octadecameric self-assembly. We find that short peptides (under 40 amino acids) are able to self-assemble into specific (ABC)