Regulating signal enhancement with coordination-coupled deprotonation of a hydrazone switch†
Proton relay plays an important role in many biocatalytic pathways. In order to mimic such processes in the context of molecular switches, we developed coordination-coupled deprotonation (CCD) driven signaling and signal enhancement sequences. This was accomplished by using the zinc(II)-initiated CCD of a hydrazone switch to instigate an acid catalyzed imine bond hydrolysis that separates a quencher from a fluorophore thus leading to emission amplification. Because CCD is a reversible process, we were able to show that the catalysis can be regulated and turned “on” and “off” using a metalation/demetalation cycle.