Unraveling the benzocaine-receptor interaction at molecular level using mass-resolved spectroscopy

Edurne Aguado, Iker León, Judith Millán, Emilio J. Cocinero, Sander Jaeqx, Anouk M. Rijs, Alberto Lesarri, José A. Fernández*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


The benzocaine-toluene cluster has been used as a model system to mimic the interaction between the local anesthetic benzocaine and the phenylalanine residue in Na+ channels. The cluster was generated in a supersonic expansion of benzocaine and toluene in helium. Using a combination of mass-resolved laser-based experimental techniques and computational methods, the complex was fully characterized, finding four conformational isomers in which the molecules are bound through N-H···π and π···π weak hydrogen bonds. The structures of the detected isomers closely resemble those predicted for benzocaine in the inner pore of the ion channels, giving experimental support to previously reported molecular chemistry models.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)13472-13480
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry B
Issue number43
Publication statusPublished - 31 Oct 2013
Externally publishedYes


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