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From flavoenzymes to devices: The role of electronic effects in recognition

Robert Deans, University of Massachusetts Amherst


Acylated aminopyridines provide models for specific flavoenzyme-cofactor interactions, allowing isolation and observation of the effects of hydrogen bonding on flavin NMR. To determine the relative hydrogen bond affinities of O(2) and O(4) of the flavin, a 2-aminopyridine based receptor was investigated. Additionally, this receptor allowed the effects of hydrogen bonding at O(2) and O(4) on the electron distribution in the flavin nucleus to be determined using $\sp{13}$C NMR. A new family of receptors for flavins based on 6-aryl-2,4-(acyldiamino)-s-triazines was synthesized. In these synthetic hosts, systematic variation of the spatially remote substituents on the 6-aryl ring altered the hydrogen bond donating abilities of the amide functionality and the hydrogen bond accepting properties of the triazine N(3). This variation resulted in a strong modulation of the efficiency of flavin binding, with association constants for the receptor flavin complexes ranging over an 8-fold range. In addition, the communication of electronic information over extended distances was also investigated. Polymers can provide relevant media for the modeling of biological processes, including molecular recognition. To explore this possibility, a diaminotriazine-functionalized polymer was synthesized, starting from Merrifield's peptide resin. This polymer selectively bound a flavin derivative through hydrogen bonding, efficiently extracting it from a chloroform solution, as monitored by UV-vis extraction studies. The temperature profile of this polymer-flavin binding was also investigated and compared to the analogous solution-phase triazine-flavin dyad. Hydrogen bonding and aromatic stacking are fundamental interactions in molecular recognition. These interactions are sensitive to the redox states of the components of the host-guest complex. To explore the interplay of recognition and redox processes, a system consisting of two hosts and one guest, where guest binding interactions (hydrogen bonding and aromatic stacking) were modulated via choice of redox state was examined. Proper choice of receptors then provided a device where the competition between the two hosts was controlled by the redox state of the guest. The efficient reversal of host preference in this assembly provided an electrochemically-controlled three-component, two-pole, molecular switch.

Subject Area

Organic chemistry|Materials science|Polymers

Recommended Citation

Deans, Robert, "From flavoenzymes to devices: The role of electronic effects in recognition" (1998). Doctoral Dissertations Available from Proquest. AAI9909158.