Nature Materials, Vol.20, No.3, 395-+, 2021
Cofactor-free oxidase-mimetic nanomaterials from self-assembled histidine-rich peptides
Natural oxidases mainly rely on cofactors and well-arranged amino acid residues for catalysing electron-transfer reactions but suffer from non-recovery of their activity upon externally induced protein unfolding. However, it remains unknown whether residues at the active site can catalyse similar reactions in the absence of the cofactor. Here, we describe a series of self-assembling, histidine-rich peptides, as short as a dipeptide, with catalytic function similar to that of haem-dependent peroxidases. The histidine residues of the peptide chains form periodic arrays that are able to catalyse H2O2 reduction reactions efficiently through the formation of reactive ternary complex intermediates. The supramolecular catalyst exhibiting the highest activity could be switched between inactive and active states without loss of activity for ten cycles of heating/cooling or acidification/neutralization treatments, demonstrating the reversible assembly/disassembly of the active residues. These findings may aid the design of advanced biomimetic catalytic materials and provide a model for primitive cofactor-free enzymes. Self-assembling, histidine-rich peptides with similar catalytic functions as those of haem-dependent peroxidases are reported. These findings may have implications for the design of cofactor-free catalytic nanomaterials.