We present the development of a native chemical ligation handle that also functions as a masked electrophile that can be liberated during synthesis when required. This handle can thus be used for the synthesis of complex activity-based probes. We describe the use of this handle in the generation of linkage-specific activity-based deubiquitylating enzyme probes that contain substrate context and closely mimic the native ubiquitin isopeptide linkage. We have generated activity-based probes based on all seven isopeptide-linked diubiquitin topoisomers and demonstrated their structural integrity and ability to label DUBs in a linkage-specific manner.
Keywords: activity-based probes; native chemical ligation; protein modifications; solid-phase peptide synthesis; ubiquitin.
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