4 years ago

Supramolecular Assembly of Comb-like Macromolecules Induced by Chemical Reactions that Modulate the Macromolecular Interactions In Situ

Supramolecular Assembly of Comb-like Macromolecules Induced by Chemical Reactions that Modulate the Macromolecular Interactions In Situ
Yao Lin, Jianjun Cheng, Yanfeng Zhang, Hailin Fu, Hongwei Xia, Yuan Ren, Kuo-Chih Shih, Mu-Ping Nieh, Murali Anuganti
Supramolecular polymerization or assembly of proteins or large macromolecular units by a homogeneous nucleation mechanism can be quite slow and require specific solution conditions. In nature, protein assembly is often regulated by molecules that modulate the electrostatic interactions of the protein subunits for various association strengths. The key to this regulation is the coupling of the assembly process with a reversible or irreversible chemical reaction that occurs within the constituent subunits. However, realizing this complex process by the rational design of synthetic molecules or macromolecules remains a challenge. Herein, we use a synthetic polypeptide-grafted comb macromolecule to demonstrate how the in situ modulation of interactions between the charged macromolecules affects their resulting supramolecular structures. The kinetics of structural formation was studied and can be described by a generalized model of nucleated polymerization containing secondary pathways. Basic thermodynamic analysis indicated the delicate role of the electrostatic interactions between the charged subunits in the reaction-induced assembly process. This approach may be applicable for assembling a variety of ionic soft matters that are amenable to chemical reactions in situ.

Publisher URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/jacs.7b04986

DOI: 10.1021/jacs.7b04986

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