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Ice-binding peptides enable survival in sub-zero temperatures

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Abstract: Developing molecules that emulate the properties of naturally occurring ice-binding proteins (IBPs) is a daunting challenge. Rather than relying on the (limited) existing structure-property relationships that have been established for IBPs, here we report the use of phage display for the identification of short peptide mimics of IBPs. To this end, an ice-affinity selection protocol is developed, which enables the selection of a cyclic ice-binding peptide containing just 14 amino acids. Mutational analysis identifies three residues, Asp8, Thr10 and Thr14, which are found to be essential for ice binding. Molecular dynamics simulations reveal that the side chain of Thr10 hydrophobically binds to ice revealing a potential mechanism. To demonstrate the biotechnological potential of this peptide, it is expressed as a fusion ('Ice-Tag') with mCherry and used to purify proteins directly from cell lysate.

 

Stevens CA, Bachtiger F, Kong X-D, et al. A minimalistic cyclic ice-binding peptide from phage display. Nat Commun. 2021;12(1):2675.

Abstract: A novel "hyperactive" ice-binding peptide from porcine collagen was prepared by alkaline protease hydrolysis and a series of column chromatography separations, and then its antifreeze and cryoprotective properties were reported. Using differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), the thermal hysteresis (TH) of ice-binding collagen peptides was closely related to their concentration and crystal fraction. Collagen hydrolysates with maximal TH were obtained by hydrolysis at pH 8.0, DH 15.0%, and 5% alkaline protease at 55°C. After purification by column chromatography, the AP-3 ice-binding collagen peptide (GLLGPLGPRGLL) with 1162.8Da molecular weights exhibited the highest TH (5.28°C), which can be classified as "hyperactive". Recrystallisation and melt-resistance of ice cream were improved by AP-3 ice-binding collagen peptide at 0.2% (w/v) in a similar manner to natural antifreeze proteins. Moreover, the addition of AP-3 collagen peptides in ice cream greatly elevated the glass transition temperature (Tg) to -17.64°C.

 

Cao H, Zhao Y, Zhu YB, Xu F, Yu JS, Yuan M. Antifreeze and cryoprotective activities of ice-binding collagen peptides from pig skin. Food Chemistry. 2016;194:1245-1253.

Abstract: Growth of ice crystals can cause serious problems, such as frozen products deterioration, road damage, energy losses, and safety risks of human beings. Antifreeze peptides (AFPs), a healthy and effective cryoprotectant, have great potential as ice crystal growth inhibitors for a variety of frozen products. In this review, methods and technologies for the production, purification, evaluation, and characterization of AFPs are comprehensively summarized. First, this review describes the preparation of AFPs, including the methods of enzymatic hydrolysis, chemical synthesis, and microbial fermentation. Next, this review introduces the major methods by which to evaluate AFPs' antifreeze activity, including nanoliter osmometer, differential scanning calorimetry, splat-cooling, the biovaluation model, and novel technology. Moreover, this review presents an overview of the molecular characteristics, structure-function relationships, and action mechanisms of AFPs. Furthermore, advances in the application of AFPs to frozen food, including frozen dough, meat products, fruits, vegetable products, and dairy, are summarized and holistically analyzed. Finally, challenges of AFPs and future perspectives on their use are also discussed. An understanding of the production, structure-function relationships, mechanisms and applications of AFPs provides inspiration for further research into the use of AFPs in food science and food nutrition applications.


Chen X, Wu J, Cai X, Wang S. Production, structure–function relationships, mechanisms, and applications of antifreeze peptides. Comprehensive Reviews in Food Science and Food Safety. 2021;20(1):542-562.

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