Sequence-Specific, Nanomolar Peptide Binding via Cucurbit[8]uril-Induced Folding and Inclusion of Neighboring Side Chains

Lauren C. Smith, David G. Leach, Brittney E. Blaylock, Omar A. Ali & Adam R. Urbach
This paper describes the molecular recognition of the tripeptide Tyr-Leu-Ala by the synthetic receptor cucurbit[8]uril (Q8) in aqueous buffer with nanomolar affinity and exceptional specificity. This combination of characteristics, which also applies to antibodies, is desirable for applications in biochemistry and biotechnology but has eluded supramolecular chemists for decades. Building on prior knowledge that Q8 binds to peptides with N-terminal aromatic residues, a library screen of 105 peptides was designed to test the effects of...
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