Dissolution of a fibrous peptide by terahertz free electron laser

Takayasu Kawasaki, Koichi Tsukiyama, Akinori Irizawa

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15 Citations (Scopus)


Fibrous peptides such as amyloid fibrils have various roles in biological system, e.g., as causal factor of serious amyloidosis in human and as functional regulator of cell formation in bacteria and eukaryotes. In addition, the fiber-type format is promising as biocompatible scaffold. Therefore, the dissolution method of peptide fibril is potentially useful at many scenes in medical and material fields: as reductive way of pathogenic amyloid, as modification technique of cell structure, and as fabrication tool of biomaterials. However, the fibril structure is generally difficult to be dissociated due to its rigid stacked conformation. Here, we propose a physical engineering technology using terahertz free electron laser (FEL) at far-infrared wavelengths from 70 to 80 μm. Infrared microscopy analysis of the irradiated fibril of calcitonin peptide as a model showed that β-sheet was decreased, and α-helix, turn, and others were increased, compared to those of the fibril before the FEL irradiation. Interestingly, the dissociative effect by the far-infrared laser was remarkable than that by the mid-infrared laser tuned to 6.1 μm that corresponds to amide I. In addition, simple heating at 363 K deformed the fibril state but increased the amount of β-sheet, which was contrast with the action by the FEL, and scanning-electron microscopy and Congo-red staining revealed that the fibril was collapsed power-dependently within a range from 25 to 900 mJ energies supplied with the FEL at 74 μm. It can be considered that irradiation of intense terahertz wave can dissociate fibrous conformation of peptide with little influence of thermal effect.

Original languageEnglish
Article number10636
JournalScientific reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2019


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