Infoscience

Thesis

Metal-based chemosensors for amino acids, peptides, and nucleotides

An organometallic 4d transition metal complex [Cp*RhCl2]2, together with commercially available dyes, was used to construct indicator displacement assays (IDAs) for the detection of peptides, amino acids, and nucleotides. The combination of the Cp*Rh complex with the dye azophloxine was found to form a chemosensing ensemble for the sequence-selective detection of histidine- and methionine-containing peptides in water at neutral pH. A strong interaction of the rhodium complex with peptides bearing histidine or methionine residue in the position 1 or 2 allowed to detect these peptides down to a concentration of 0.3 µM. The same organometallic complex and three commercially available dyes were employed to compose an array of IDA chemosensors for the detection of natural amino acids. We found that the variation of the pH can effectively be used to modulate the selectivity of an IDA sensor. An excellent discrimination of 20 amino acids was achieved. The combination of [Cp*RhCl2]2 with the dyes gallocyanine, evans blue, and mordant yellow 10 forms a multicomponent indicator displacement assay (MIDA), which can be used to sense low millimolar concentrations of nucleotides and the pyrophosphate anion in buffered aqueous solution. Moreover, the MIDA allows to simultaneously determine the concentrations of adenosine triphosphate and pyrophosphate/cyclic adenosine monophosphate with a single UV-Vis measurement. In the second part of our work we investigated whether dynamic combinatorial libraries (DCLs) can be used for sensing purposes. We found that the dyes arsenazo I, methylcalcein blue, and glycine cresol red, in combination with the metal salts CuCl2 and NiCl2, form a DCL of differently colored metal-dye complexes. The addition of an analyte able to interact with a member(s) of such a library, results in a re-equilibraion easily detectable by UV-Vis spectroscopy. Using dipeptides as analytes we demonstrated that this way of sensing is very effective – even closely related peptides such as regio- (Ala-Phe vs. Phe-Ala) and stereo- (Phe-Ala vs. D-Phe-Ala) isomers can easily be discriminated. Additionally, we found that the identity of the best sensor depends on the problem to be addressed.

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