Development of An Enzymatically Crosslinkable Biomimetic Collagen That Exhibits Collagen-Like Molecular Architecture with Improved Cellular Recognition
Yen Wah Tong and Shih Tak Khew. Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, National University of Singapore, 4 Engineering Drive 4, Singapore, 117576, Singapore
This work focuses on establishing a molecular strategy to engineer a functional biomimetic collagen that exhibits stable collagen-like triple-helical conformation with cell-binding activity, in addition to an enzyme-mediated crosslinking by tissue transglutaminase (tTGase). A novel sequence derived from human fibrillin-1 was identified as an amine donor substrate for tTGase, using a previously characterized APQQEA derived from human osteonectin as an amine acceptor probe. Subsequently, collagen-mimetic peptides (CMPs) supplemented with a cell-binding sequence (GFOGER) and the identified tTGase substrate sequences were conjugated onto a generation 2 poly(amidoamine) dendrimer, resulting in a crosslinkable collagen-mimetic dendrimer, denoted as CMD-K and CMD-Q, respectively. Both CMD-K and CMD-Q exhibited enhanced triple-helical stability and supported cell adhesion in an integrin-dependent manner. Finally, tTGase-mediated crosslinking between CMD-K and CMD-Q resulted in a supramolecular structure that exhibited stable collagen-like triple-helical conformation and improved cellular recognition. The results show that the triple-helical structure is important in preserving the GFOGER cell-binding site while the tTGase-mediated protein crosslinking may also be crucial for the recognition by cell surface integrin receptors.