Electrochemically Promoted Tyrosine-Click-Chemistry for Protein Labeling

J Am Chem Soc. 2018 Dec 12;140(49):17120-17126. doi: 10.1021/jacs.8b09372. Epub 2018 Nov 28.


The development of new bio-orthogonal ligation methods for the conjugation of native proteins is of particular importance in the field of chemical biology and biotherapies. In this work, we developed a traceless electrochemical method for protein bioconjugation. The electrochemically promoted tyrosine-click (e-Y-CLICK) allowed the chemoselective Y-modification of peptides and proteins with labeled urazoles. A low potential is applied in an electrochemical cell to activate urazole anchors in situ and on demand, without affecting the electroactive amino acids from the protein. The versatility of the electrosynthetic approach was shown on biologically relevant peptides and proteins such as oxytocin, angiotensin 2, serum bovine albumin, and epratuzumab. The fully conserved enzymatic activity of a glucose oxidase observed after e-Y-CLICK further highlights the softness of the method. The e-Y-CLICK protocols were successfully performed in pure aqueous buffers, without the need for co-solvents, scavenger or oxidizing chemicals, and should therefore significantly broaden the scope of bioconjugation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Aspergillus niger / enzymology
  • Cattle
  • Click Chemistry / methods
  • Electrochemical Techniques / methods
  • Glucose Oxidase / chemistry
  • Humans
  • Molecular Probes / chemical synthesis
  • Molecular Probes / chemistry*
  • Proteins / chemistry*
  • Triazines / chemical synthesis
  • Triazines / chemistry*
  • Tyrosine / chemistry*


  • Molecular Probes
  • Proteins
  • Triazines
  • Tyrosine
  • Glucose Oxidase