Host-Guest Interactions between Molecular Clips and Multistate Systems Based on Flavylium Salts

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Flavylium salts contain the basic structure and show a pH-dependent sequence of reactions identical to natural anthocyanins, which are responsible for most of the red and blue colors of flowers and fruits. In this work we investigated the effect of the water-soluble molecular clips C1 and C2 substituted by hydrogen phosphate or sulfate groups on the stability and reactions of the flavylium salts 1-4 by the use of UV-vis absorption, fluorescence, and NMR spectroscopy as well as of the time-resolved pH jump and flash photolysis methods. Clip C1 forms highly stable host-guest complexes with the flavylium salts 1 and 2 and the quinoidal base 3A in methanol. The binding constants were determined by fluorometric titration to be log K = 4.1, 4.7, and 5.6, respectively. Large complexation-induced H-1 NMR shifts of guest signals, Delta delta(max), indicate that in the case of the flavylium salts 1 and 2 the pyrylium ring and in the case of the quinoidal base 3A the o-hydroxyquinone ring are preferentially bound inside the clip cavity. Due to the poor solubility of these host-guest complexes in water, the association constants could be only determined in highly diluted aqueous solution by UV-vis titration experiments for the complex formation of clip C1 with the flavylium salt 3AH(+) at pH = 2 and the quinoidal base 3A at pH = 5.3 to be log K = 4.9 for both complexes. Similar results were obtained for the formation of the complexes of the sulfate-substituted clip C2 with flavylium salt 4AH(+) and its quinoidal base 4A which are slightly better soluble in water (log K = 4.3 and 4.0, respectively). According to the kinetic analysis (performed by using the methods mentioned above) the thermally induced trans-cis chalcone isomerization (4Ct -> 4Cc) and the H2O addition to flavylium cation 4AH(+) followed by H+ elimination leading to hemiketal 4B are both retarded in the presence of clip C2, whereas the photochemically induced trans-cis isomerization (4Ct -> 4Cc) is not affected by clip C2. The results presented here are explained with dominating hydrophobic interactions between the molecular clips and the flavylium guest molecules. The other potential interactions (ion-ion, cation-pi, pi-pi, and CH-pi), which certainly determine the structures of these host-guest complexes to a large extent, seem to be of minor importance for their stability.
Original languageUnknown
Pages (from-to)8922-8938
JournalJournal of the American Chemical Society
Issue number25
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2009

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