We describe a new technique in protein synthesis that extends the existing repertoire of methods for protein modification: A chemoselective reaction that induces reactivity for a subsequent bioconjugation. An azide-modified building block reacts first with an ethynylphosphonite through a Staudinger-phosphonite reaction (SPhR) to give an ethynylphosphonamidate. The resulting electron-deficient triple bond subsequently undergoes a cysteine-selective reaction with proteins or antibodies. We demonstrate that ethynylphosphonamidates display excellent cysteine-selective reactivity combined with superior stability of the thiol adducts, when compared to classical maleimide linkages. This turns our technique into a versatile and powerful tool for the facile construction of stable functional protein conjugates.
Keywords: bioconjugation; bioorganic chemistry; bioorthogonal chemistry; cysteine-selective modification; protein modification.
© 2019 Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.