The templation effect as a driving force for the self-assembly of hydrogen-bonded peptidic capsules in competitive media†
Peptide-based cavitands (resorcinarenes substituted with histidine and glutamine hydrazides) exist as monomeric species in polar solvents (DMSO and methanol). Upon complexation of fullerenes, the cavitands wrap around the hydrophobic guests forming dimeric capsular shells (as evidenced by DOSY). The self-assembly of the cavitands is based on the formation of beta-sheet-like binding motifs around the hydrophobic core. In a polar environment, these hydrogen bonded structures are kinetically stable and highly ordered as manifested by a 100-fold increase of intensity of circular dichroism bands, as well as a separate set of signals and substantial differences in chemical shifts in NMR spectra. This behavior resembles a protein folding process at the molten globule stage with non-specific hydrophobic interactions creating a protective and favourable local environment for the formation of secondary structures of proteins.
- This article is part of the themed collection: Celebrating excellence in research: women of organic chemistry