Traceless Cleavage of Protein-Biotin Conjugates under Biologically Compatible Conditions

Chembiochem. 2017 Sep 5;18(17):1688-1691. doi: 10.1002/cbic.201700214. Epub 2017 Jul 19.


Biotinylation of amines is widely used to conjugate biomolecules, but either the resulting label is non-removable or its removal leaves a tag on the molecule of interest, thus affecting downstream processes. We present here a set of reagents (RevAmines) that allow traceless, reversible biotinylation under biologically compatible, mild conditions. Release following avidin-based capture is achieved through the cleavage of a (2-(alkylsulfonyl)ethyl) carbamate linker under mild conditions (200 mm ammonium bicarbonate, pH 8, 16-24 h, room temperature) that regenerates the unmodified amine. The capture and release of biotinylated proteins and peptides from neutravidin, fluorescent labelling through reversible biotinylation at the cell surface and the selective enrichment of proteins from bacterial periplasm are demonstrated. The tags are easily prepared, stable and offer the potential for future application in proteomics, activity-based protein profiling, affinity chromatography and bio-molecule tagging and purification.

Keywords: affinity purification; protein modifications; proteomics; reversible biotinylation; traceless cleavage.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Avidin / chemistry
  • Avidin / metabolism
  • Biotin / chemistry*
  • Biotin / metabolism
  • Biotinylation
  • Cattle
  • Chromatography, Affinity
  • Fluorescent Dyes / chemistry
  • Microscopy, Confocal
  • Proteins / chemistry*
  • Proteins / metabolism
  • Proteomics
  • Serum Albumin, Bovine / chemistry
  • Serum Albumin, Bovine / metabolism


  • Fluorescent Dyes
  • Proteins
  • neutravidin
  • Avidin
  • Serum Albumin, Bovine
  • Biotin