Modular Design of Supramolecular Ionic Peptides with Cell-Selective Membrane Activity

Su Yang, Yan Chang, Shan Hazoor, Chad Brautigam, Frank W. Foss, Zui Pan, He Dong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The rational design of materials with cell-selective membrane activity is an effective strategy for the development of targeted molecular imaging and therapy. Here we report a new class of cationic multidomain peptides (MDPs) that can undergo enzyme-mediated molecular transformation followed by supramolecular assembly to form nanofibers in which cationic clusters are presented on a rigid β-sheet backbone. This structural transformation, which is induced by cells overexpressing the specific enzymes, led to a shift in the membrane perturbation potential of the MDPs, and consequently enhanced cell uptake and drug delivery efficacy. We envision the directed self-assembly based on modularly designed MDPs as a highly promising approach to generate dynamic supramolecular nanomaterials with emerging membrane activity for a range of disease targeted molecular imaging and therapy applications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3164-3168
Number of pages5
Issue number22
StatePublished - Nov 16 2021


  • cell selectivity
  • drug delivery
  • membrane activity
  • molecular imaging
  • self-assembly

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Molecular Biology
  • Organic Chemistry


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