Metal self-assembly mimosine peptides with enhanced antimicrobial activity: towards a new generation of multitasking chelating agents.

Joanna Izabela Izabela Lachowicz, Gabriele Dalla Torre, Rosita Cappai, Enrico Randaccio, Valeria Marina Nurchi, Remigiusz RB Bachor, Zbigniew Szewczuk, Lukasz Jaremko, Mariusz Jaremko, Maria Barbara MBP Pisano, Sofia SC Cosentino, Germano Orrù, Antonella AI Ibba, Joni JM Mujika, Xabier Lopez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Mimosine is a non-protein aminoacid with various properties, such as antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer and anti-virus among others. Due to its structure similarity with deferiprone (DFP), mimosine is a potential excellent metal chelator. In the present work, we combine experimental and theoretical (DFT) approaches in order to investigate the properties of mimosine peptides. Six different peptides were synthesized and their complex stoichiometry and stability were characterized by means of UV-Vis spectrophotometry. Then, the binding mode and self-assembly features of the peptides were evaluated using a DFT approach, taking into account different number of mimosine amino acids and varying the length of the spacer between the mimosine residues, finding a good agreement between experimental data and computational calculations. Further elucidations of the structural properties of these peptides allowed us to propose improvements in the structure of the mimosine moiety that can lead to enhanced affinity for high-valent metals. Moreover, we demonstrate that these peptides show an anti-microbial activity against gram positive bacteria that is enhanced by the formation of a complex with iron(III) ions. The mimosine peptides could be an alternative to Antimicrobial peptides (AMPs), which are expensive and susceptible to proteolytic degradation. In summary, in the present work, we propose a new generation of multipurpose mimosine-based peptides as a new metal self-assembly chelators that could be a corner point in biomedical and nanotechnological applications.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2862-2879
Number of pages18
JournalDalton Transactions
Issue number9
StatePublished - Jan 28 2020

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2020-10-01
Acknowledgements: This work was supported by a grant No. UMO-2015/17/D/ST5/01329 from the National Science Centre, Poland. This work was also supported by Grants PGC2018-099321-B-I00 from the Ministry of Science and Universities through the Office of Science Research (MINECO/FEDER), and Grant IT588-13 from the Basque Government.


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