Diels–Alder Ligation of Peptides and Proteins

Department of Chemistry, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Berlín, Berlin, Germany
Chemistry (Impact Factor: 5.73). 08/2006; 12(23):6095-109. DOI: 10.1002/chem.200600148
Source: PubMed


The development of the Diels-Alder cycloaddition as a new method for the site-specific chemoselective ligation of peptides and proteins under mild conditions is reported. Peptides equipped with a 2,4-hexadienyl ester and an N-terminal maleimide react in aqueous media to give cycloadducts in high yields and depending on the amino acid sequence with high stereoselectivity. Except for the cysteine SH group the transformation is compatible with all amino acid side chain functional groups. For ligation to proteins the hexadienyl group was attached to avidin and streptavidin noncovalently by means of complex formation with a biotinylated peptide or by covalent attachment of a hexadienyl ester-containing label to lysine side chains incorporated into the proteins. Site-specific attachment of the hexadienyl unit into a Rab protein was achieved by means of expressed protein ligation followed by protection of the generated cysteine SH by means of Ellman's reagent. The protein reacted with different maleimido-modified peptides under mild conditions to give the fully functional cycloadducts in high yield. The results demonstrate that the Diels-Alder ligation offers an advantageous and technically straightforward new opportunity for the site-specific equipment of peptides and proteins with further functional groups and labels. It proceeds under very mild conditions and is compatible with most functional groups found in proteins. Its combination with other ligation methods, in particular expressed protein ligation is feasible.

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