Globular Polymer Grafts Require a Critical Size for Efficient Molecular Sieving of Enzyme Substrates
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A series of 2,2-bis(hydroxymethyl)propionic acid dendrons of generation 2 through 8 having a strained cyclooctyne at the core and hydroxy groups at the periphery were prepared by a divergent method and used to functionalize azide-decorated α-chymotrypsin. The ability of the appended dendrons to selectively block enzyme activity (through a molecular sieving effect) was investigated using a small molecule substrate (benzoyl-l-tyrosine p-nitroanilide), as well as two proteins of different size (casein and bovine serum albumin). Additionally, the ability of dendrons to block complexation with a chymotrypsin antagonist, α-antichymotrypsin, was investigated, and it was found that the dendron coating effectively prevented inhibition by this antagonist. We found that a critical generation is required to achieve efficient sieving with bis-MPA dendrons, which illustrates the importance of macromolecular architecture and size in the shielding of proteins.
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