A designed protein for the specific and covalent heteroconjugation of biomolecules

Bioconjug Chem. 2008 Sep;19(9):1753-6. doi: 10.1021/bc800268j. Epub 2008 Aug 28.


Bioconjugations often rely on adaptor molecules to cross-link different biomolecules. In this work, we introduce the molecular adaptor covalin, which is a protein chimera of two self-labeling proteins with nonoverlapping substrate specificity. Covalin permits a selective and covalent heteroconjugation of biomolecules displaying appropriate functional groups. Examples for the use of covalin include the specific heteroconjugation of a reporter enzyme to an antibody and of molecular probes to the surface of living cells. The efficiency and specificity of covalin-based bioconjugations together with the availability of a large variety of substrates create immediate and ubiquitous applications for covalin in bioconjugate chemistry.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Binding Sites
  • Cells* / chemistry
  • Cells* / metabolism
  • Cross-Linking Reagents / chemistry*
  • Fluoresceins / chemistry
  • Hydrolases / chemistry
  • Hydrolases / metabolism*
  • O(6)-Methylguanine-DNA Methyltransferase / chemistry
  • O(6)-Methylguanine-DNA Methyltransferase / metabolism*
  • Proteins* / chemistry
  • Proteins* / metabolism
  • Spectrometry, Fluorescence
  • Staining and Labeling
  • Substrate Specificity


  • Cross-Linking Reagents
  • Fluoresceins
  • Proteins
  • O(6)-Methylguanine-DNA Methyltransferase
  • Hydrolases
  • haloalkane dehalogenase