Badjic, Hadad, and coworkers have prepared 1 an interesting host molecule that appears like two cups joined at the base, with one cup pointed up and the other pointed down. A slightly simplified analogue 1 of the synthesized host is shown in Figure 1. The actual host is found to bind one molecule of 2, but does not appear to bind a second molecule. Seemingly, only one of the cups can bind a guest, and that this somehow deters a second guest from being bound into the other cup.
Figure 1. B3LYP/6-31G* optimized geometry of host molecule 1. (Visualization of this molecules and the structures below are greatly enhanced by clicking on each image which will invoke the molecular viewer Jmol.)
To address negative allosterism, the authors optimized the structure of 1 at B3LYP/6-31G* (shown in Figure 1). They then optimized the geometry with the constraint that the three arms in the top cup were ever more slightly moved inward. This had the consequential effect of moving the three arms of the bottom cup farther apart. They next optimized (at M06-2x/6-31G(d)) the structures of 1 holding one molecule of guest 2 and with two molecules of guest 2. These structures are shown in Figure 2. In the structure with one guest, the arms are brought in towards the guest for the cup where the guest is bound, and this consequently draws the arms in the other cup to be farther apart, and thereby less capable of binding a second guest. The structure with two guest shows that the arms are not able to get sufficiently close to either guest to form strong non-covalent interactions.
Figure 2. M06-2x/6-31G(d) optimized structures of 1 with one or two molecules of 2.
Thus, the negative allosterism results from a geometric change created by the induced fit of the first guest that results in an unfavorable environment for a second guest.
(1) Chen, S.; Yamasaki, M.; Polen, S.; Gallucci, J.; Hadad, C. M.; Badjić, J. D. "Dual-Cavity Basket Promotes Encapsulation in Water in an Allosteric Fashion," J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2015, 137, 12276-12281, DOI: 10.1021/jacs.5b06041.