Author(s): Pavan S, Berti F
Abstract Share this page
Abstract This review deals with short peptides (up to 50 amino acids) as biomimetic active recognition elements in sensing systems. Peptide-based sensors have been developed in recent years according to different strategies. Synthetic peptides have been designed on the basis of known interactions between single or a few amino acids and targets, with attention being paid to the presence of peptide motifs known to allow intermolecular self-organization of the sensing peptides over the sensor surface. Sensitive and sophisticated sensors have been obtained in this way, but the use of designed peptides is limited by severe difficulties in their in silico design. Short peptides from random phage display have been selected in a random way from large, unfocussed, and often preexisting and commercially available phage display libraries, with no design elements. Such peptides often perform better than antibodies, but they are difficult to select when the target is a small molecule because of the need to immobilize it with considerable modifications of its structure. Artificial, miniaturized receptors have been obtained from the reduction of the known sequence of a natural receptor down to a synthesizable and yet stable one. Alternatively, binding sites have been created over a designed, stable peptide scaffold. Short peptides have also been used as active elements for the detection of their own natural receptors: pathogenic bacteria have been detected with antimicrobial and cell-penetrating peptides, but key challenges such as detection of bacteria in real samples, improved sensitivity, and improved selectivity have to be faced. Peptide substrates have been conjugated to fluorescent quantum dots to obtain disposable sensors for protease activity with high sensitivity. Ferrocene-peptide conjugates have been used for electrochemical sensing of protease activity.
This article was published in Anal Bioanal Chem
and referenced in Journal of Analytical & Bioanalytical Techniques