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Tetrazoles and acyl sulfonamides are functional groups that are common in medicinal chemistry but virtually unexplored as recognition elements in supramolecular chemistry. We report here on the anion binding properties of these highly acidic N-H functional groups. We have prepared two new calixarene-based tetrazole-containing hosts, as well as new acetyl sulfonamide and benzoyl sulfonamide hosts. We also report on analogous hosts bearing the better-known aryl sulfonamide functional group as a point of comparison. We find that these hosts are competent anion binders and that the recognition of anions by these groups is highly dependent on their conformational preferences. We also report in detail on the preferred molecular shape of each acid bioisostere as determined by calculations and structural database surveys, and discuss how these shapes impact binding in the context of the reported hosts.


Thomas Pinter, Subrata Jana, Rebecca J M Courtemanche, Fraser Hof. Recognition properties of carboxylic acid bioisosteres: anion binding by tetrazoles, aryl sulfonamides, and acyl sulfonamides on a calix[4]arene scaffold. The Journal of organic chemistry. 2011 May 20;76(10):3733-41

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PMID: 21462934

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