Cellular recognition of synthetic peptide amphiphiles in self-assembled monolayer films

Teika Pakalns, Kraig L. Haverstick, Gregg B. Fields, James B. McCarthy, Daniel L. Mooradian, Matthew Tirrell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

116 Scopus citations


The incorporation of lipidated cell adhesion peptides into self-assembled structures such as films provides the opportunity to develop unique biomimetic materials with well-organized interfaces. Synthetic dialkyl tails have been linked to the amino-terminus, carboxyl-terminus, and both termini of the cell recognition sequence Arg-Gly-Asp (RGD) to produce amino-coupled, carboxyl-coupled, and looped RGD peptide amphiphiles. All three amphiphilic RGD versions self-assembled into fairly stable mixed monolayers that deposited well as Langmuir-Blodgett films on surfaces, except for films containing amino-coupled RGD amphiphiles at high peptide concentrations. FT-IR studies showed that amino-coupled RGD head groups formed the strongest lateral hydrogen bonds. Melanoma cells spread on looped RGD amphiphiles in a concentration-dependent manner, spread indiscriminately on carboxyl-coupled RGD amphiphiles, and did not spread on amino-coupled RGD amphiphiles. Looped RGD amphiphiles promoted the adhesion, spreading, and cytoskeletal reorganization of melanoma and endothelial cells while control looped Arg-Gly-Glu (RGE) amphiphiles inhibited them. Antibody inhibition of the integrin receptor α3β1 blocked melanoma cell adhesion to looped RGD amphiphiles. These results confirm that novel biomolecular materials containing synthetic peptide amphiphiles have the potential to control cellular behavior in a specific manner. Copyright (C) 1999 Elsevier Science Ltd.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2265-2279
Number of pages15
Issue number23-24
StatePublished - Dec 1999

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors acknowledge support of this work by the National Science Foundation, grant number NSF-BIR-9413241, and the National Institutes of Health, grant number HL62427-01.


  • Biomimetic materials
  • Cell adhesion
  • Cell spreading
  • Langmuir-Blodgett films
  • Peptide amphiphiles
  • RGD


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