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Towards Understanding Sweetness: Structure-Activity Relationships on the Basis of Hydrophobicity Potential Profiles

Stefan Immel and Frieder W. Lichtenthaler

7th European Carbohydrate Symposium (EUROCARB VII), Cracow, August 22-27, 1993, Abstract C026.

Computer-aided modeling studies of the conformations, the molecular electrostatic potential (MEP), and the lipophilicity potential (MLP) profiles of sucrose, fructose, and non-carbohydrate sweeteners reveal close similarities in their hydrophobic and hydrophilic surface regions on opposite molecular sides, the former being a crucial factor in guiding the substrate into the sweet taste receptor and locking it into the correct position for eliciting the sweetness response. The hydrophilic region contains the AH-B couple of functional groups amenable to hydrogen bonding with a complementary receptor-based AH-B unit.

Sucrose molecular surface Sucrose AH-B-X-model

The AH-B-assignments made are supported by the MEP's shown, leading to new insights into the physico-chemical properties of the glucophoric unit of sweeteners. Further corroboration of the new concept is provided by the sweetness data of a variety of analogs of these compounds.

Additional Graphics: Sucrose / High-Potency Sweeteners

© Copyright PD Dr. S. Immel