Synthesis of Multi-Protein Complexes through Charge-Directed Sequential Activation of Tyrosine Residues

J Am Chem Soc. 2021 Sep 1;143(34):13538-13547. doi: 10.1021/jacs.1c03079. Epub 2021 Aug 12.


Site-selective protein-protein coupling has long been a goal of chemical biology research. In recent years, that goal has been realized to varying degrees through a number of techniques, including the use of tyrosinase-based coupling strategies. Early publications utilizing tyrosinase from Agaricus bisporus(abTYR) showed the potential to convert tyrosine residues into ortho-quinone functional groups, but this enzyme is challenging to produce recombinantly and suffers from some limitations in substrate scope. Initial screens of several tyrosinase candidates revealed that the tyrosinase from Bacillus megaterium (megaTYR) is an enzyme that possesses a broad substrate tolerance. We use the expanded substrate preference as a starting point for protein design experiments and show that single point mutants of megaTYR are capable of activating tyrosine residues in various sequence contexts. We leverage this new tool to enable the construction of protein trimers via a charge-directed sequential activation of tyrosine residues (CDSAT).

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Bacillus megaterium / enzymology
  • Benzoquinones / chemistry
  • Benzoquinones / metabolism
  • Monophenol Monooxygenase / chemistry
  • Monophenol Monooxygenase / genetics
  • Monophenol Monooxygenase / metabolism*
  • Mutagenesis
  • Mutagenesis, Site-Directed
  • Protein Multimerization
  • Tyrosine / chemistry
  • Tyrosine / metabolism*


  • Benzoquinones
  • quinone
  • Tyrosine
  • Monophenol Monooxygenase