Insight into the esterase like activity demonstrated by an imidazole appended self-assembling hydrogelator

Nishant Singh, Maria P. Conte, R. V. Ulijn, Juan F. Miravet, Beatriu Escuder

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A low molecular weight hydrogelator with a covalently appended imidazole moiety is reported. Capable of percolating water in the pH range of 6 to 8, it proves to be an efficient catalyst upon self-assembly, showing Michaelis-Menten type kinetics. Activities at different pH values correlated with dramatic structural changes were observed. It can hydrolyse p-nitrophenyl acetate (pNPA) as well as inactivated esters, and l and d-phenylalanine methyl esters. The enhanced activity can be related to the conglomeration of catalytic groups upon aggregation resulting in their close proximity and the formation of hydrophobic pockets.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)13213-13216
Number of pages4
JournalChemical Communications
Issue number67
Early online date10 Jul 2015
Publication statusPublished - 28 Aug 2015


  • acetic acid derivative
  • dextro phenylalanine
  • catalyst
  • chemical structure
  • enzyme activity

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