A method is designed to quickly form protein hydrogels, based on the self-assembly of highly concentrated lysozyme solutions in acidic conditions. Their properties can be easily modulated by selecting the curing temperature. Molecular insights on the gelation pathway, derived by in situ FTIR spectroscopy, are related to calorimetric and rheological results, providing a consistent picture on structure-property correlations. In these self-crowded samples, the thermal unfolding induces the rapid formation of amyloid aggregates, leading to temperature-dependent quasi-stationary levels of antiparallel cross β-sheet links, attributed to kinetically trapped oligomers. Upon subsequent cooling, thermoreversible hydrogels develop by the formation of interoligomer contacts. Through heating/cooling cycles, the starting solutions can be largely recovered back, due to oligomer-to-monomer dissociation and refolding. Overall, transparent protein hydrogels can be easily formed in self-crowding conditions and their properties explained, considering the formation of interconnected amyloid oligomers. This type of biomaterial might be relevant in different fields, along with analogous systems of a fibrillar nature more commonly considered.

Amyloid Self-Assembly of Lysozyme in Self-Crowded Conditions: The Formation of a Protein Oligomer Hydrogel

Sassi P.;Comez L.;Morresi A.;Foggi P.;Paolantoni M.
2021

Abstract

A method is designed to quickly form protein hydrogels, based on the self-assembly of highly concentrated lysozyme solutions in acidic conditions. Their properties can be easily modulated by selecting the curing temperature. Molecular insights on the gelation pathway, derived by in situ FTIR spectroscopy, are related to calorimetric and rheological results, providing a consistent picture on structure-property correlations. In these self-crowded samples, the thermal unfolding induces the rapid formation of amyloid aggregates, leading to temperature-dependent quasi-stationary levels of antiparallel cross β-sheet links, attributed to kinetically trapped oligomers. Upon subsequent cooling, thermoreversible hydrogels develop by the formation of interoligomer contacts. Through heating/cooling cycles, the starting solutions can be largely recovered back, due to oligomer-to-monomer dissociation and refolding. Overall, transparent protein hydrogels can be easily formed in self-crowding conditions and their properties explained, considering the formation of interconnected amyloid oligomers. This type of biomaterial might be relevant in different fields, along with analogous systems of a fibrillar nature more commonly considered.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11391/1501117
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