Electrostatic docking of a supramolecular host-guest assembly to cytochrome c probed by bidirectional photoinduced electron transfer

Katarzyna I. Jankowska, Cynthia V. Pagba, Eugene L. Piatnitski Chekler, Kurt Deshayes, Piotr Piotrowiak

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18 Scopus citations


A water-soluble octacarboxyhemicarcerand was used as a shuttle to transport redox-active substrates across the aqueous medium and deliver them to the target protein. The results show that weak multivalent interactions and conformational flexibility can be exploited to reversibly bind complex supramolecular assemblies to biological molecules. Hydrophobic electron donors and acceptors were encapsulated within the hemicarcerand, and photoinduced electron transfer (ET) between the Zn-substituted cytochrome c (MW = 12.3 kD) and the host-guest complexes (MW = 2.2 kD) was used to probe the association between the negatively charged hemicarceplex and the positively charged protein. The behavior of the resulting ternary protein-hemicarcerand-guest assembly was investigated in two binding limits: (1) when Kencaps ≫ K assoc, the hemicarcerand transports the ligand to the protein while protecting it from the aqueous medium; and (2) when Kassoc > Kencaps, the hemicarcerand-protein complex is formed first, and the hemicarcerand acts as an artificial receptor site that intercepts ligands from solution and positions them close to the active site of the metalloenzyme. In both cases, ET mediated by the protein-bound hemicarcerand is much faster than that due to diffusional encounters with the respective free donor or acceptor in solution. The measured ET rates suggest that the dominant binding region of the host-guest complex on the surface of the protein is consistent with the docking area of the native redox partner of cytochrome c. The strong association with the protein is attributed to the flexible conformation and adaptable charge distribution of the hemicarcerand, which allow for surface-matching with the cytochrome.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)16423-16431
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of the American Chemical Society
Issue number46
StatePublished - Nov 24 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Catalysis
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry
  • Colloid and Surface Chemistry


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