Generating system-level responses from a network of simple synthetic replicators
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The creation of reaction networks capable of exhibiting responses that are properties of entire systems represents a significant challenge for the chemical sciences. The system- level behavior of a reaction network is linked intrinsically to its topology and the functional connections between its nodes. A simple network of chemical reactions constructed from four reagents, in which each reagent reacts with exactly two others, can exhibit upregulation of two products even when only a single chemical reaction is addressed catalytically. We implement a system with this topology using two maleimides and two nitrones of different sizes—either short or long and each bearing complementary recognition sites—that react pairwise through 1,3-dipolar cycloaddition reactions to create a network of four length-segregated replicating templates. Comprehensive 1H NMR spectroscopy experiments unravel the network topology, confirming that, in isolation, three out of four templates self-replicate, with the shortest template exhibiting the highest efficiency. The strongest template effects within the network are the mutually crosscatalytic relationships between the two templates of intermediate size. The network topology is such that the addition of different preformed templates as instructions to a mixture of all starting materials elicits system-level behavior. Instruction with a single template up-regulates the formation of two templates in a predictable manner. These results demonstrate that the rules governing system-level behavior can be unraveled through the application of wholly synthetic networks with well-defined chemistries and interactions.
Sadownik , J W , Kosikova , T & Philp , D 2017 , ' Generating system-level responses from a network of simple synthetic replicators ' Journal of the American Chemical Society , vol. 139 , no. 48 , pp. 17565-17573 . DOI: 10.1021/jacs.7b09735
Journal of the American Chemical Society
Copyright © 2017 American Chemical Society. This work has been made available online in accordance with the publisher’s policies. This is the author created accepted version manuscript following peer review and as such may differ slightly from the final published version. The final published version of this work is available at: https://doi.org/10.1021/jacs.7b09735
DescriptionThe financial support for this work was provided by EaStCHEM and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (Grant EP/K503162/1).
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