Histidine as a key modulator of molecular self-assembly: Peptide-based supramolecular materials inspired by biological systems

Yu Chen, Kai Tao, Wei Ji, Vijay Bhooshan Kumar, Sigal Rencus-Lazar, Ehud Gazit

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


Histidine, a versatile proteinogenic amino acid, plays a broad range of roles in all living organisms and behaves as a key mediator of the interactions of biomolecules with inorganic constituents. The self-assembly of histidine-rich peptides and proteins is critical in biology, as the histidine unit is both a multifunctional regulator and an ideal motif for the construction of complex biological structures. In particular, non-covalent interactions between the imidazole ring and other molecular building blocks and metal ions are routinely employed to generate these complexes. Therefore, this strategy can be duplicated in an artificial context to create sophisticated bioactive materials. In this review, we first highlight a clear perspective of the bio-inspired design strategies which can replicate the hierarchical structure of biological systems allowing the engineering of the supramolecular self-assembly of histidine-functionalized peptides. We further summarize advancements in the field of peptide supramolecular structures incorporating histidine residues in the peptide backbone to generate organized functional supramolecular biomaterials with customizable features. We also discuss significant advances and future prospects in supramolecular self-assembly of histidine-functionalized peptides, as well as provide an overview of advanced techniques for the fabrication of histidine-based biomaterials for bio-nanotechnology, optoelectronic engineering, and biomedicine. Overall, artificial supramolecular materials based on histidine functionalized peptides, motivated by the intriguing properties discovered in natural proteins, bear the potential to boost the creation of sustainable bio-inspired materials.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)106-127
Number of pages22
JournalMaterials Today
StatePublished - Nov 2022
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Elsevier Ltd


  • Bioinspired material
  • Bionanotechnology
  • Histidine-functionalized peptide
  • Metal coordination
  • Self-assembly


Dive into the research topics of 'Histidine as a key modulator of molecular self-assembly: Peptide-based supramolecular materials inspired by biological systems'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this