Seminar Announcement, 04/04/2017
Levich Institute Seminar Announcement, 04/04/2017
Tuesday, 04/04/2017
2:00 PM
Steinman Hall, Room #312
(Chemical Engineering Conference Room)

Dr. Chungqiu Zhang
CUNY Advanced Science Research Center

"Conformation Switchable Artificial Hydrolase Based on a Self-Assembling Peptide"


It is still the challenge in supramolecular chemistry to design the structurally well-defined architectures with dynamic and stimulus-responsive properties, which can be made to assign and regulate these functions. Especially for natural enzymes mimicking, the fine control of the activity is essential for the regulation of the reaction. Thus, in recent years, the design of smart artificial enzymes has attracted more and more attention. By introducing stimuli-responsive moieties into the artificial enzymes, these smart systems performed a nice response to the external stimuli, such as temperature, pH, light and others.

While, the reason of natural enzymes with high activity is that the complex amino acids form the certain 3D structures, which offer the catalyzing microenvironment for the reaction. And also, some natural enzymes can be regulated by changes in their structures or conformations. Inspired by the structures of natural enzymes, we hope to create the artificial enzymes with high activity and reversible catalysis property through the precise design of the self-assembly peptide architectures. More importantly, once the peptide nanostructures twist together to form the hydrogel, we can realize the enzyme immobilization in the hydrogel. Herein, we developed a conceptual pH-switchable artificial hydrolase by introducing the catalyzing amino acid to a pH responsive peptide sequence, which can be transferred from monomolecular state to nanofiber state by regulating the pH in this system. The peptide nanofibers show typical hydrolase behaviors and moreover, its activity can be switched on/off by regulating the pH in solution. Furthermore, the hydrogel would be formed in the high concentration of peptide nanofibers and show similar catalyzing behaviors.


Dr. Zhang completed post-doctoral training in The National Center for Nanoscience and Technology after obtaining a Ph.D. from Jilin University in China.


Dr. Zhang's research interests cover a broad spectrum of biochemistry, nanoscience and technology, including, self-assembled amphiphiles, aggregation-induced emission hydrogels, nano-drug/gene delivery systems, and artificial enzymes.

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