Chaperones are small molecules that assist in the folding of naturally occurring peptides. There are no examples of small molecules acting as chaperones in the self-assembly of synthetic noncovalent assemblies. In this communication we describe an unprecedented example of the "chaperone effect" in the noncovalent synthesis of organic nanostructures. Tetrarosette assemblies 23·(BuCYA)12 form quantitatively in CHCl3 at room temperature upon mixing tetramelamine 2 with N-butylcyanurate (BuCYA) in the presence of 5,5-diethylbarbituric acid (DEB). Without the DEB units present, only oligomeric assemblies are formed that cannot rearrange to the tetrarosettes by themselves. The DEB units act as molecular "chaperones" by preorganizing the tetramelamine units for the spontaneous assembly of the tetrarosette structure.
Paraschiv, V., Crego Calama, M., Ish-i Tsutomu, T. I., Padberg, C. J., Timmerman, P., & Reinhoudt, D. (2002). Molecular "chaperones" guide the spontaneous formation of a 15-component hydrogen-bonded assembly. Journal of the American Chemical Society, 124(26), 7638-7639. https://doi.org/10.1021/ja012384e