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J Am Chem Soc. 2002 Mar 13;124(10):2267-78.

Ion channel formation from a calix[4]arene amide that binds HCl.

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Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland 20742, USA.


The ion transport activity of calix[4]arene tetrabutylamide 1,3-alt 2 was studied in liposomes, planar lipid bilayers, and HEK-293 cells. These experiments, when considered together with (1)H NMR and X-ray crystallography data, indicate that calix[4]arene tetrabutylamide 2 (1) forms ion channels in bilayer membranes, (2) mediates ion transport across cell membranes at positive holding potential, (3) alters the pH inside liposomes experiencing a Cl(-) gradient, and (4) shows a significant Cl(-)/SO(4)(2)(-) transport selectivity. An analogue, calix[4]arene tetramethylamide 1, self-assembles in the presence of HCl to generate solid-state structures with chloride-filled and water-filled channels. Structureminus signactivity studies indicate that the hydrophobicity, amide substitution, and macrocyclic framework of the calixarene are essential for HCl binding and transport. Calix[4]arene tetrabutylamide 2 is a rare example of an anion-dependent, synthetic ion channel.

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