Frustrated, or nonoptimal, interactions have been proposed to be essential to a protein’s ability to display responsive behavior such as allostery, conformational signaling, and signal transduction. However, the intentional incorporation of frustrated noncovalent interactions has not been explored as a design element in the field of dynamic foldamers. Here, we report the design, synthesis, characterization, and molecular dynamics simulations of the first dynamic water-soluble foldamer that, in response to a stimulus, exploits relief of frustration in its noncovalent network to structurally rearrange from a pleated to an intercalated columnar structure. Thus, relief of frustration provides the energetic driving force for structural rearrangement. This work represents a previously unexplored design element for the development of stimulus-responsive systems that has potential application to materials chemistry, synthetic biology, and molecular machines.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- General Chemistry
- Colloid and Surface Chemistry