Metal complexation of a D -ribose-based ligand decoded by experimental and theoretical studies

Federico Cisnetti, Jean Didier Maréchal, Magali Nicaise, Régis Guillot, Michel Desmadril, François Lambert, Clotilde Policar

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5 Citations (Scopus)


A combination of experimental and theoretical methods have been used to elucidate the complexation properties of a new sugar-derived hexadentate ligand, namely methyl 2,3,4-tri-O-(2-picolyl)-β-D-ribopyranoside (L). The coordination bond lengths in the complexes with Mn II, Co II, Ni II, and Zn II show substantial deviations from ideal octahedra with deformation towards trigonal-prismatic geometries, which is indicative of a conformationally constrained ligand. The metal-cation-ligand interactions were studied for L and the acyclic analogue L' [1,2,3-tri-O-(2-picolyl)-1,2,3-propanetriol] by spectroscopic methods and isothermal calorimetric titrations for the series Mn II, Co II, Ni II, Zn II, and Cu II. The results indicate a stabilization of the complexes obtained with L compared with L', depending on the nature of the metal. Molecular modeling studies showed that the presence of the sugar moiety strongly favors conformations compatible with metal binding, which suggests an entropic origin of the stabilization of L complexes with regards to L' complexes. Moreover, the differences in the metal chelation profiles of L and L' are related to the constraints in the sugar group in the metal-bound structures. This study shows that foreseeing the degree of preorganization of flexible ligands may drive the design of a new generation of chelating compounds. A new sugar-derived ligand, with its coordination site embedded in a pyranoside cycle in the chair conformation, has been designed. Its transition-metal complexes were characterized by experimental and complexation methods and revealed a dramatic impact of the preorganization and complementarity of the carbohydrate scaffold on the metal binding. © 2012 Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3308-3319
JournalEuropean Journal of Inorganic Chemistry
Issue number20
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2012


  • Carbohydrates
  • Density funtional calculations
  • Ligand design
  • Molecular modeling
  • Transition metals


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