Exploring the Relation between Amplification and Binding in Dynamic Combinatorial Libraries of Macrocyclic Synthetic Receptors in Water

Peter T. Corbett, Jeremy K.M. Sanders, Sijbren Otto

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Herein we describe an extensive study of the response of a set of closely related dynamic combinatorial libraries (DCLs) of macrocyclic receptors to the introduction of a focused range of guest molecules. We have determined the amplification of two sets of diastereomeric receptors induced by a series of neutral and cationic guests, including biologically relevant compounds such as acetylcholine and morphine. The host–guest binding affinities were investigated using isothermal titration calorimetry. The resulting dataset enabled a detailed analysis of the relationship between the amplification of selected receptors and host–guest Gibbs binding energies, giving insight into the factors affecting the design, simulation and interpretation of DCL experiments. In particular, two questions were addressed: Is amplification by a given guest selective for the best receptor? And does the best guest induce the largest amplification of a given receptor? Our experimental results and computer simulations showed that the relative levels of amplification of hosts by a guest are well-correlated with their relative affinities, and simulations have confirmed previous observations that amplification can be selective for the best receptor when only modest amounts of guest are used. In contrast, the correlation between guest binding and the extent of amplification of a given receptor across a wide range of guests tends to be poorer, because every guest has its own unique set of affinities for competing receptors in the DCL. This implies that the results of screening a DCL for selective receptors by comparing the response of the mixture to two different guests should be interpreted with caution. DCLs are complex mixtures in which all compounds are connected through a set of equilibria. Obtaining quantitative information about all host–guest binding constants from such systems will require the explicit and simultaneous consideration of all of the main equilibria within a DCL.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages14
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2008

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