An Allosterically Regulated, Four-State Macrocycle

Andrea I. D'Aquino, Ho Fung Cheng, Joaquín Barroso-Flores, Zachary S. Kean, Jose Mendez-Arroyo, C. Michael McGuirk, Chad A. Mirkin*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Macrocycles capable of host-guest chemistry are an important class of structures that have attracted considerable attention because of their utility in chemical separations, analyte sensing, signal amplification, and drug delivery. The deliberate design and synthesis of such structures are rate-limiting steps in utilizing them for such applications, and coordination-driven supramolecular chemistry has emerged as a promising tool for rapidly making large classes of such systems with attractive molecular recognition capabilities and, in certain cases, catalytic properties. A particularly promising subset of such systems are stimuli-responsive constructs made from hemilabile ligands via the weak-link approach (WLA) to supramolecular coordination chemistry. Such structures can be reversibly toggled between different shapes, sizes, and charges based upon small-molecule and elemental-anion chemical effectors. In doing so, one can deliberately change their recognition properties and both stoichiometric and catalytic chemistries, thereby providing mimics of allosteric enzymes. The vast majority of structures made to date involve two-state systems, with a select few being able to access three different states. Herein, we describe the synthesis of a new allosterically regulated four-state macrocycle assembled via the WLA. The target structure was made via the stepwise assembly of ditopic bidentate hemilabile N-heterocyclic carbene thioether (NHC,S) and phosphino thioether (P,S) ligands at PtII metal nodes. The relatively simple macrocycle displays complex dynamic behavior when addressed with small-molecule effectors, and structural switching can be achieved with several distinct molecular cues. Importantly, each state was fully characterized by multinuclear NMR spectroscopy and, in some cases, single-crystal X-ray diffraction studies and density functional theory computational models. This new structure opens the door to complex multicue switching reminiscent of multistate chemoswitches that could be important in controlling stoichiometric and catalytic transformations as well as generating molecular logic systems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3568-3578
Number of pages11
JournalInorganic chemistry
Issue number7
StatePublished - Apr 2 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry

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