Design and synthesis of ladder-shaped tetracyclic, heptacyclic, and decacyclic ethers and evaluation of the interaction with transmembrane proteins

Kohei Torikai, Tohru Oishi, Satoru Ujihara, Nobuaki Matsumori, Keiichi Konoki, Michio Murata, Saburo Aimoto

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31 Citations (Scopus)


Ladder-shaped polyether (LSP) toxins represented by brevetoxins and Ciguatoxins are thought to bind to transmembrane (TM) proteins. To elucidate the interactions of LSPs with TM proteins, we have synthesized artificial ladder-shaped polyethers (ALPs) containing 6/7/6/6 tetracyclic, 6/7/6/6/7/6/6 heptacyclic, and 6/7/6/6/7/6/6/7/6/6 decacyclic systems, based on the convergent method via α-cyano ethers. The ALPs possessing the simple iterative structure with different numbers of rings would be useful for structure-activity relationship studies on the molecular length, which is supposed to be important when naturally occurring LSPs elicit their toxicity. Two series of ALPs were prepared to evaluate the hydrophilic or hydrophobic effects of the side chains: (i) both sides were functionalized as diols (A series), and (ii) one side remained as diol and the other side was protected as benzyl ethers (B series). To examine the interaction of these ALPs with TM proteins, dissociation of glycophorin A (GpA) dimers into monomers was evaluated by sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis. The heptacyclic ether (ALP7B) elicited the most potent activity in the presence of 2% SDS buffer, whereas the decacyclic ether (ALP10A) exhibited an intriguing phenomenon to induce precipitation of GpA in a dose-dependent manner, under the low concentration of SDS (0.03%). ALP10A also induced precipitation of integrin α 1β1, a TM protein known to form heterodimers in the lipid bilayer membranes. The different activities among the ALPs can be accounted for by the concept of "hydrophobic matching" that is, lengths of the hydrophobic region including the side chains of ALP7B and ALP10A are ca. 25 Å, which match the lengths of the hydrophobic region of α-helical TM proteins, as well as the hydrophobic thickness of lipid bilayer membranes. The concept of the hydrophobic matching would be a clue to understanding the interaction between LSPs and TM proteins, and also a guiding principle to design ALPs possessing potent affinities with TM proteins.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)10217-10226
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of the American Chemical Society
Issue number31
Publication statusPublished - Aug 6 2008
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Catalysis
  • General Chemistry
  • Biochemistry
  • Colloid and Surface Chemistry


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