Aqueous recognition of purine and pyrimidine bases by an anthracene-based macrocyclic receptor

Danny Van Eker, Soumen K. Samanta and Anthony P. Davis

Chem. Commun. 2020, 56, 9268-9271

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A water-soluble bis-anthracenyl tetralactam binds biogenic heterocycles with high affinities in aqueous solution, rising to 107 M-1 for the purine hypoxanthine. Recognition occurs through a combination of hydrogen bonding and hydrophobic interactions, and results in fluorescence changes which suggest applications in sensing.