Combining recognition motifs for improved sensing and biological activity of phosphorylated molecules



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Phosphorylated molecules play vastly important roles in the environment and biological systems. The main focus of this work sought to expand the current collection of synthetic phosphate receptors to include the binding of oligosaccharide phosphates. To this end, the synthesis of a boronic acid - appended porphyrin whose selectivity could be tuned through nucleic acid selection was pursued through a number of synthetic routes. Though difficulties were encountered with synthetic reactivities and product solubility, these efforts culminated in the development of a bis-boronic acid-substituted porphyrin soluble in DMSO/water mixtures that displays fluorescence quenching upon the addition of specific saccharide derivatives. In efforts to ease the synthetic burden, the creation of a DNA-based self-assembled receptor system was also investigated. Further, this work included the synthesis of phosphorylated derivatives of gemcitabine, a nucleoside chemotherapeutic drug, with the goal of developing targeted delivery systems for the improved treatment of cancer. Progress in each of these areas is discussed.