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Pd(II)-Mediated Assembly of Porphyrin Channels in Bilayer Membranes

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posted on 15.02.2011 by Usha Devi, James R. D. Brown, Andrew Almond, Simon J. Webb
A membrane-spanning bis(meso-3-pyridyl) porphyrin 1 has been synthesized, embedded in EYPC vesicles, and upon Pd(II) addition has been shown to form ionophores that allow the passage of anionic 5/6-carboxyfluorescein through membranes. The geometric matching of bis(meso-3-pyridyl) porphyrin 1 and trans-Pd(II) was designed to give a cyclic porphyrin trimer [PdCl2(1)]3. However, solution-phase studies showed that PdCl2(PhCN)2 cross linked 1 into linear oligomers at porphyrin concentrations above 10 mM, although the formation of cyclic species was inferred from studies at concentrations below 2 μM. Fluorescence titrations showed that embedding porphyrin 1 in bilayers greatly reduced its affinity for Pd(II), but the combination of porphyrin 1 and Pd(II) gave an ionophoric species that increased the rate of 5/6-carboxyfluorescein (5/6-CF) transit through the phospholipid bilayer 12-fold. A maximum in the 5/6-CF release rate was observed at a Pd(II) concentration of 4 μM, and the application of a solution-phase binding model to the membrane phase showed that this peak in ionophoric activity corresponded to the greatest extent of porphyrin oligomerization. Further studies suggested these Pd(II)/porphyrin oligomers transported 5/6-CF via a channel mechanism.