Synthetic Receptors for Nucleosides and Nucleotides
Nucleosides and nucleotides have many crucial roles in biological systems as biosynthetic building blocks or as signaling molecules, and most of these processes involve molecular recognition. The chapter begins with a short summary of the chemical structures of nucleosides/nucleotides and how they are recognized by biological receptors. The focus then moves to the design of synthetic receptors for applications such as binding, membrane transport, and sensing. The classic supramolecular approach is to produce receptors that form reversible interactions with the three major nucleotide components: nucleobase, sugar, or phosphate. This is achieved using weak interactions including hydrogen bonding, aromatic stacking, or metal cation coordination. A major goal is to produce fluorescent probes for selective detection of various important nucleotides within physiological environments. Other receptor design approaches are described, including peptide libraries, diversity oriented fluorophores, molecular imprinted polymers, and hybrid sensors that are conjugates of biological receptors with appended reporter groups. The goal of the chapter is to help readers develop their own highly selective small-molecule synthetic receptors for nucleosides/nucleotides.