Emergent Molecular Recognition through Self-Assembly: Unexpected Selectivity for Hyaluronic Acid among Glycosaminoglycans

Takao Noguchi, Bappaditya Roy, Daisuke Yoshihara, Junji Sakamoto, Tatsuhiro Yamamoto, Seiji Shinkai

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16 Citations (Scopus)


Oligophenylenevinylene (OPV)-based fluorescent (FL) chemosensors exhibiting linear FL responses toward polyanions were designed. Their application to FL sensing of glycosaminoglycans (heparin: HEP, chondroitin 4-sulfate: ChS, and hyaluronic acid: HA) revealed that the charge density encoded as the unit structure directs the mode of OPV self-assembly: H-type aggregate for HEP with 16-times FL increase and J-type aggregate for HA with 93-times FL increase, thus unexpectedly achieving the preferential selectivity for HA in contrast to the conventional HEP selective systems. We have found that the integral magnitude of three factors consisting of binding mechanism, self-assembly, and FL response can amplify the structural information on the target input into the characteristic FL output. This emergent property has been used for a novel molecular recognition system that realizes unconventional FL sensing of HA, potentially applicable to the clinical diagnosis of cancer-related diseases. An unexpectedly selective fluorescent (FL) chemosensor for hyaluronic acid (HA) was developed, where structural information on the target critically directs the mode of chemosensor self-assembly leading to the characteristic FL response (see picture). This system is potentially applicable to the clinical diagnosis of functional disorders such as cancer-related diseases involving the overexpression of HA.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5708-5712
Number of pages5
JournalAngewandte Chemie - International Edition
Issue number19
Publication statusPublished - May 4 2016


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Catalysis
  • Chemistry(all)

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