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  1. Although unsaturated organotrifluoroborates are common synthons in metal–organic chemistry, their transition metal complexes have received little attention. [CH 2 (3,5-(CH 3 ) 2 Pz) 2 ]Cu(CH 2 CHBF 3 ), (SIPr)Cu(MeCN)(CH 2 CHBF 3 ) and [CH 2 (3,5-(CH 3 ) 2 Pz) 2 ]Ag(CH 2 CHBF 3 ) represent rare, isolable molecules featuring a vinyltrifluoroborate ligand on coinage metals. The X-ray crystal structures show the presence of three-coordinate metal sites in these complexes. The vinyltrifluoroborate group binds asymmetrically to the metal site in [CH 2 (3,5-(CH 3 ) 2 Pz) 2 ]M(CH 2 CHBF 3 ) (M = Cu, Ag) with relatively closer M–C(H) 2 distances. The computed structures of [CH 2 (3,5-(CH 3 ) 2 Pz) 2 ]M(CH 2 CHBF 3 ) and M(CH 2 CHBF 3 ), however, have shorter M–C(H)BF 3 distances than M–C(H) 2 . These molecules feature various inter- or intra-molecular contacts involving fluorine of the BF 3 group, possibly affecting these M–C distances. The binding energies of [CH 2 CHBF 3 ] − to Cu + , Ag + and Au + have been calculated at the wB97XD/def2-TZVP level of theory, in the presence and absence of the supporting ligand CH 2 (3,5-(CHmore »3 ) 2 Pz) 2 . The calculation shows that Au + has the strongest binding to the [CH 2 CHBF 3 ] − ligand, followed by Cu + and Ag + , irrespective of the presence of the supporting ligand. However, in all three metals, the supporting ligand weakens the binding of olefin to the metal. The same trends were also found from the analysis of the σ-donation and π-backbonding interactions between the metal fragment and the π and π* orbitals of [CH 2 CHBF 3 ] − .« less
  2. Abstract

    Self‐assembled peptides are an emerging family of biomaterials that show great promise for a range of biomedical and biotechnological applications. Introducing and tuning the pH‐responsiveness of the assembly is highly desirable for improving their biological activities. Inspired by proteins with internal ionizable residues, we report a simple but effective approach to constructing pH‐responsive peptide assembly containing unnatural ionic amino acids with an aliphatic tertiary amine side chain. Through a combined experimental and computational investigation, we demonstrate that these residues can be accommodated and stabilized within the internal hydrophobic compartment of the peptide assembly. The hydrophobic microenvironment shifts their pKasignificantly from a basic pH typically found for free amines to a more biologically relevant pH in the weakly acidic range. The pH‐induced ionization and ionization‐dependent self‐assembly and disassembly are thoroughly investigated and correlated with the biological activity of the assembly. This new approach has unique advantages in tuning the pH‐responsiveness of self‐assembled peptides across a large pH range in a complex biological environment. We anticipate the ionizable amino acids developed here can be widely applicable to the synthesis and self‐assembly of many amphiphilic peptides with endowed pH‐responsive properties to enhance their biological activities toward applications ranging from targeted therapeutic deliverymore »to proton transport.

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