Efficient Complexation of N-Acetyl Amino Acid Carboxylates in Water by an Artificial Receptor:  Unexpected Cooperativity in the Binding of Glutamate but Not Aspartate

Carsten Schmuck & Lars Geiger
A new tris-cation 1 binds N-acetyl amino acid carboxylates in water even at millimolar salt concentrations with Kass ≈ 103 M-1 due to a clustering of electrostatic interactions. Binding is efficient enough to allow a naked-eyed detection using an indicator displacement assay. Furthermore, receptor 1 shows an unexpected 2:1 complex formation with strong positive cooperativity with glutamate but not aspartate.
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