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Pure Appl. Chem., 2000, Vol. 72, No. 3, pp. 365-372

Designer cyclopeptides for self-assembled tubular structures

Darshan Ranganathan*, C. Lakshmi, V. Haridas and M. Gopikumar

Discovery Laboratory, Indian Institute of Chemical Technology, Hyderabad 500 007, India

Abstract: A simple design strategy for a facile and direct entry into hydrogen-bonded peptide nanotubes is delineated with polymethylene-bridged cystine-based macrocycles. The key feature of the design is the placement of a pair of self-complementary hydrogen-bonding (NH–CO or NH–CO–NH) groups at almost opposite poles of the ring. A large variety of cyclobisamides and bisureas prepared in a single step by direct condensation of commercially available 1,ω-alkane dicarbonyl dichloride or diisocyanate with either cystine diOMe or its extended bispeptide were examined by X-ray crystallography and shown to possess an inherent property of self-assembling into hydrogen-bonded, open-ended, hollow tubular structures. The totally hydrophobic interior of the cyclobisamide tubes creates a micro environment capable of solubilizing highly lipophilic substances in water. The cyclic bisurea tubes are demonstrated to act as excellent receptors for selective binding to 1,ω-alkane dicarboxylates. The scope of the design is extended to the creation of tubular structures by stacking of rings through aromatic π-π interactions.