A multi-state, allosterically-regulated molecular receptor with switchable selectivity

Jose Mendez-Arroyo, Joaquín Barroso-Flores, Alejo M. Lifschitz, Amy A. Sarjeant, Charlotte L. Stern, Chad A. Mirkin*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

76 Scopus citations


A biomimetic, ion-regulated molecular receptor was synthesized via the Weak-Link Approach (WLA). This structure features both a calix[4]arene moiety which serves as a molecular recognition unit and an activity regulator composed of hemilabile phosphine alkyl thioether ligands (P,S) chelated to a Pt(II) center. The host-guest properties of the ion-regulated receptor were found to be highly dependent upon the coordination of the Pt(II) center, which is controlled through the reversible coordination of small molecule effectors. The environment at the regulatory site dictates the charge and the structural conformation of the entire assembly resulting in three accessible binding configurations: one closed, inactive state and two open, active states. One of the active states, the semiopen state, recognizes a neutral guest molecule, while the other, the fully open state, recognizes a cationic guest molecule. Job plots and 1H NMR spectroscopy titrations were used to study the formation of these inclusion complexes, the receptor binding modes, and the receptor binding affinities (Ka) in solution. Single crystal X-ray diffraction studies provided insight into the solid-state structures of the receptor when complexed with each guest molecule. The dipole moments and electrostatic potential maps of the structures were generated via DFT calculations at the B97D/LANL2DZ level of theory. finally, we describe the reversible capture and release of guests by switching the receptor between the closed and semiopen configurations via elemental anion and small molecule effectors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)10340-10348
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of the American Chemical Society
Issue number29
StatePublished - Jul 23 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • Biochemistry
  • Catalysis
  • Colloid and Surface Chemistry


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