Porphyrin cage compounds based on glycoluril – from enzyme mimics to functional molecular machines
The study of artificial receptor molecules with the intention to mimic enzyme–substrate binding processes and catalysis in nature has always been a traditional area of research in supramolecular chemistry. Along this line, our group has developed a family of porphyrin cage compounds based on glycoluril and employed these in host–guest binding studies, as components of allosterically controlled self-assembled processes, in which structural changes in the cage upon complexation of a guest or a ligand change binding equilibria, and as enzyme mimics in supramolecular catalysis. In a recently started research program aimed at developing a new molecular approach to long-term data storage, porphyrin cage compounds are studied as molecular machines to encode information into synthetic polymer chains. In this Feature Article we will give an overview of the above aspects of our porphyrin cage compounds and place them in the context of related systems reported in the literature.