Researcher – CNRS, HDR
Anthony R. Martin received his PhD from the University of Montpellier in 2011 under the supervision of Prof. Michael Smietana and Dr. Jean-Jacques Vasseur, working on the synthesis and self-assembly of borono(oligo)nucleotides. He then joined Prof. Steven Nolan’s group (Saint-Andrews University) as a postdoctoral researcher to work on late transition metal coordination and their applications in homogeneous catalysis. In 2013, he moved to the Institute of Chemistry of Nice in Dr. Benhida’s group where he was appointed Chargé de Recherche — CNRS in 2014. There, he mainly focused his research on medicinal chemistry programs devoted to the tackling of chemoresistance in cancers. Additionally, he developed chemical biology tools to monitor and probe enzymatic activities in live cells. In 2020, Anthony moved to the Institut des Biomolécules Max Mousseron (Montpellier), in Dr Amblard’s group, where his current researches encompass various aspects of peptide chemistry and the exploration of new modalities for the targeted degradation of proteins.
The Unexpected Helical Supramolecular Assembly of a Simple Achiral Acetamide Tecton Generates Selective Water Channels
Achiral 2-hydroxy-N-(diphenylmethyl)acetamide (HNDPA) crystallizes in the P61 chiral space group as a hydrate, building up permeable chiral crystalline helical water channels. The crystallization-driven chiral self-resolution process is highly robust, with the same air-stable crystalline form readily obtained under a variety of conditions. Interestingly, the HNDPA supramolecular helix inner pore is filled by a helical water wire. The whole edifice is mainly stabilized by robust hydrogen bonds involving the HNDPA amide bonds and CH… π interactions between the HNDPA phenyl groups. The crystalline structure shows breathing behavior, with completely reversible release and re-uptake of water inside the chiral channel under ambient conditions. Importantly, the HNDPA channel is able to transport water very efficiently and selectively under biomimetic conditions. With a permeability per channel of 3.3 million water molecules per second in large unilamellar vesicles (LUV) and total selectivity against NaCl, the HNDPA channel is a very promising functional nanomaterial for future applications.