- Sakai, N.; Talukdar, P.; Matile, S. “Use of the Exciton Chirality Method in the Investigation of the Ligand Gating of Synthetic Ion Channels” Chirality 2006, 18, 91-94
The objective of this brief highlight is to point out the central role of the exciton chirality method to gain insights on the structural basis of the recently achieved ligand gating of synthetic ion channels. This unprecedented ligand gating was achieved with an equally unprecedented transmembrane rigid-rod π-stack architecture that is designed to adopt a closed conformation with helically stacked naphthalenediimide (NDI) acceptors. The intercalation of the complementary electron-rich dialkoxynaphthalene ligands then stimulates the untwisting of the closed π-helices into hollow barrel–stave supramolecules. During this helix–barrel transition, the angle between the transition moments of the exciton-coupled NDI chromophores decreases toward zero. The corresponding disappearance of the split CD provides, according to the exciton chirality method, the otherwise elusive experimental support that ligand-gated ion channel formation really occurs by this rationally designed helix–barrel transition.