Rapid discovery of self-assembling peptides with one-bead one-compound peptide library

Pei Pei Yang, Yi Jing Li, Yan Cao, Lu Zhang, Jia Qi Wang, Ziwei Lai, Kuo Zhang, Diedra Shorty, Wenwu Xiao, Hui Cao, Lei Wang, Hao Wang, Ruiwu Liu, Kit S. Lam

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Self-assembling peptides have shown tremendous potential in the fields of material sciences, nanoscience, and medicine. Because of the vast combinatorial space of even short peptides, identification of self-assembling sequences remains a challenge. Herein, we develop an experimental method to rapidly screen a huge array of peptide sequences for self-assembling property, using the one-bead one-compound (OBOC) combinatorial library method. In this approach, peptides on beads are N-terminally capped with nitro-1,2,3-benzoxadiazole, a hydrophobicity-sensitive fluorescence molecule. Beads displaying self-assembling peptides would fluoresce under aqueous environment. Using this approach, we identify eight pentapeptides, all of which are able to self-assemble into nanoparticles or nanofibers. Some of them are able to interact with and are taken up efficiently by HeLa cells. Intracellular distribution varied among these non-toxic peptidic nanoparticles. This simple screening strategy has enabled rapid identification of self-assembling peptides suitable for the development of nanostructures for various biomedical and material applications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number4494
JournalNature communications
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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