The Composition of the Mobile Phase Affects the Dynamic Chiral Recognition of Drug Molecules by the Chiral Stationary Phase

More than half of all pharmaceuticals are chiral compounds. Although the enantiomers of chiral compounds have the same chemical structure, they can exhibit marked differences in physiological activity; therefore, it is important to remove the undesirable enantiomer. Chromatographic separation of chiral enantiomers is one of the best available methods to get enantio-pure substances, but the optimization of the experimental conditions can be very time-consuming. One of the most widely used chiral stationary phases, amylose tris(3,5-dimethylphenyl carbamate) (ADMPC), has been extensively investigated using both experimental and computational methods; however, the dynamic nature of the interaction between enantiomers and ADMPC, as well as the solvent effects on the ADMPC-enantiomer interaction, are currently absent from models of the chiral recognition mechanism. Here we use QM/MM and molecular dynamics (MD) simulations to model the enantiomers of flavanone on ADMPC in either methanol or heptane/2-propanol (IPA) (90/10) to elucidate the chiral recognition mechanism from a new dynamic perspective. In atomistic MD simulations, the 12-mer model of ADMPC is found to hold the 4/3 left-handed helical structure in both methanol and heptane/IPA (90/10); however, the ADMPC polymer is found to have a more extended average structure in heptane/IPA (90/10) than in methanol. This results from the differences in the distribution of solvent molecules close to the backbone of ADMPC leads to changes in the distribution of the (ρ, ψ) dihedral angles of the glycoside bond (between adjacent monomers) that define the structure of the polymer. Our simulations have shown that the lifetime of hydrogen bonds formed between ADMPC and flavanone enantiomers in the MD simulations are able to reproduce the elution order observed in experiments for both the methanol and the heptane/IPA solvent systems. Furthermore, the ratios of hydrogen-bonding-lifetime-related properties also capture the solvent effects, in that heptane/IPA (90/10) is found to make the separation between the two enantiomers of flavanone less effective than methanol, which agrees with the experimental separation factors of 0.9 versus 0.4 for R/S, respectively. © 2017 American Chemical Society.