Allostery is the condition of a
protein in which the structure and activity are triggered by external stimuli, to perform the corresponding function. In
order to mimic nature’s complex allosteric processes, the design and synthesis
of well-crafted artificial macrocycles have long been a worthwhile goal in
supramolecular chemistry. However, photo-isomerized small molecules may reduce
or lose their configurational interconversion properties under actions of ring tension or internal stress. Therefore, constructing light-responsive rigid macrocyclic host molecules
has always been a tough problem in the field of supramolecular.
Recently, Yu Liu
group (State Key Laboratory of Elemento-Organic Chemistry, Nankai University),
developed a host semi-rigid photo- and thermal-responsive tetracationic organic cyclophane (OPVEx2Box4+),
which has been shown to be interconverted reversibly between (EE)- and
(EZ)-configurations by alternating light irradiation and heating. Due to the
effect of macrocyclic tension, the reversibility of isomeric reaction of the cyclophane
is further improved. Benefitted from the allosteric regulation of OPVEx2Box4+,
a wide array of electron-rich and electron-deficient aromatic guest molecules can
be released and bound reversibly. The photo- and thermal-controlled molecular encapsulation strategy not only
provides the incentive to design more-advanced photo-responsive host-guest
systems and switchable molecular machines but also possesses the potential for
applications in the fields of active ingredients stabilization, controllable
drug release, and toxin separations.
work has been published on Journal of American Chemical Society (JACS), and
selected as the cover paper.
(See: J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2019, 141, 1280，https://pubs.acs.org.ccindex.cn/doi/10.1021/jacs.8b10526)