Switchable cucurbituril-bipyridine beacons

Mantosh K. Sinha, Ofer Reany, Galit Parvari, Ananta Karmakar, Ehud Keinan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


4-Aminobipyridine derivatives form strong inclusion complexes with cucurbit[6]uril, exhibiting remarkably large enhancements in fluorescence intensity and quantum yields. The remarkable complexation-induced pKa shift (ΔpKa =3.3) highlights the strong charge-dipole interaction upon binding. The reversible binding phenomenon can be used for the design of switchable beacons that can be incorporated into cascades of binding networks. This concept is demonstrated herein by three different applications: 1) a switchable fluorescent beacon for chemical sensing of transition metals and other ligands; 2) direct measurement of binding constants between cucurbit[6]uril and various nonfluorescent guest molecules; and 3) quantitative monitoring of biocatalytic reactions and determination of their kinetic parameters. The latter application is illustrated by the hydrolysis of an amide catalyzed by penicillin G acylase and by the elimination reaction of a b-cabamoyloxy ketone catalyzed by aldolase antibody 38C2.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9056-9067
Number of pages12
JournalChemistry - A European Journal
Issue number30
StatePublished - 19 Aug 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Biocatalysis
  • Cucurbiturils
  • Fluorescence
  • Inclusion compounds
  • Sensors


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