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, 1266, 217-28

Genetic Encoding of Unnatural Amino Acids for Labeling Proteins

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Genetic Encoding of Unnatural Amino Acids for Labeling Proteins

Kathrin Lang et al. Methods Mol Biol.

Abstract

The site-specific incorporation of bioorthogonal groups via genetic code expansion provides a powerful general strategy for site-specifically labeling proteins with any probe. Here we describe the genetic encoding of dienophile-bearing unnatural amino acids into proteins expressed in Escherichia coli and mammalian cells using the pyrrolysyl-tRNA synthetase/tRNACUA pair and its variants. We describe the rapid fluorogenic labeling of proteins containing these unnatural amino acids in vitro, in E. coli, and in live mammalian cells with tetrazine-fluorophore conjugates in a bioorthogonal Diels-Alder reaction with inverse electron demand. These approaches have been extended to site-specific protein labeling in animals, and we anticipate that they will have a broad impact on the labeling and imaging field.

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