Journal article

Macrocyclization of enzyme-based supramolecular polymers

AB type monomers for supramolecular polymers have been developed based on the strong and reversible noncovalent interaction between ribonuclease S-peptide (A) and S-protein (B), resulting in an active enzyme complex as the linking unit. Two AB-type protein constructs are synthesized differing in the length of the flexible oligo(ethylene glycol) spacer separating the two end groups. Using an experimental setup where size exclusion chromatography is directly coupled to Q-TOF mass spectrometry, we have analyzed the self-assembled architectures as a function of concentration. The theory of macrocyclization under thermodynamic control is used to quantitatively analyze the experimental data. Using this theory, we show that AB-type monomers linked by flexible linkers grow reversibly via ring–chain competition. Inherently the formation of linear polymeric assemblies is beyond the capability of these types of building blocks due to concentration limits of proteins. The results therefore contribute to the general understanding of supramolecular polymerization with biological building blocks and demonstrate design requirements for monomers if linear polymerization is desired.


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