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Posttranslational modification of proteins expands their structural and functional capabilities beyond those directly specified by the genetic code. However, the vast diversity of chemically plausible (including unnatural but functionally relevant) side chains is not readily accessible. We describe C (sp(3))-C (sp(3)) bond-forming reactions on proteins under biocompatible conditions, which exploit unusual carbon free-radical chemistry, and use them to form Cβ-Cγ bonds with altered side chains. We demonstrate how these transformations enable a wide diversity of natural, unnatural, posttranslationally modified (methylated, glycosylated, phosphorylated, hydroxylated), and labeled (fluorinated, isotopically labeled) side chains to be added to a common, readily accessible dehydroalanine precursor in a range of representative protein types and scaffolds. This approach, outside of the rigid constraints of the ribosome and enzymatic processing, may be modified more generally for access to diverse proteins.

Original publication

DOI

10.1126/science.aag1465

Type

Journal article

Journal

Science

Volume

354

Keywords

Alanine, Bromus, Carbon, Free Radicals, Genetic Code, Glycosylation, Iodine, Mutagenesis, Peptides, Protein Engineering, Protein Processing, Post-Translational, Proteins