Substrate induced generation of transient self-assembled catalytic systems
Living matter is sustained under non-equilibrium conditions via continuous expense of energy which is coordinated by complex organized events. Spatiotemporal control over exquisite functions arises from chemical complexity under non-equilibrium conditions. For instance, extant biology often uses substrate binding events to access temporally stable protein conformations which show acceleration of catalytic rates to subsequently degrade the substrate. Furthermore, thermodynamically activated but kinetically stable esters (GTP) induce the change of conformation of cytoskeleton proteins (microtubules) which leads to rapid polymerization and triggers an augmentation of catalytic rates to subsequently degrade the ester. Importantly, high-energy assemblies composed of non-activated building blocks (GDP-tubulin) are accessed utilizing the energy dissipated from the catalytic conversion of GTP to GDP from the assembled state. Notably, some experimental studies with simple self-assembled systems have elegantly mimicked the phenomena of substrate induced transient generation of catalytic conformations. Through this review, we endeavour to highlight those select studies which have used simple building blocks to demonstrate substrate induced self-assemblies that subsequently show rate acceleration to convert the substrate into waste. The concept of substrate induced self-assembly of building blocks and rate acceleration from the assembled state has the potential to play a predominant role in the preparation of non-equilibrium systems. The design strategies covered in this review can inspire the possibilities of accessing high energy self-assembled structures that are seen in living systems.