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Photoreconfigurable Supramolecular Nanotube

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journal contribution
posted on 2013-08-07, 00:00 authored by Toshihiro Sendai, Shuvendu Biswas, Takuzo Aida
A photoreconfigurable bionanotube was developed by Mg2+-induced supramolecular polymerization using GroELSP, a mutant barrel-shaped chaperonin protein bearing multiple photochromic spiropyran (SP) units at its apical domains. Upon exposure to UV light, the nonionic SP units isomerize into ionic merocyanine (MC) to afford GroELMC, which is capable of polymerizing with MgCl2. The resultant nanotube (NT) is stable as a result of multiple MC···Mg2+···MC bridges but readily breaks up into short NTs, including monomeric GroELSP, by the reverse (MC → SP) isomerization mediated by visible light. When this scission mixture is exposed to UV light, long NTs are reconfigured. A Förster resonance energy transfer (FRET) study revealed that NTs in the dark maintain their sequential integrity. However, when exposed to visible and UV light successively, the NTs lose their sequential memory as a result of intertubular reshuffling of the constituent GroELMC units.

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