Biocompatible photoinduced CuAAC using sodium pyruvate

Chem Commun (Camb). 2021 Nov 30;57(95):12844-12847. doi: 10.1039/d1cc05566f.


Sodium pyruvate, a natural intermediate produced during cellular metabolism, is commonly used in buffer solutions and media for biochemical applications. Here we show the use of sodium pyruvate (SP) as a reducing agent in a biocompatible aqueous photoinduced azide-alkyne cycloaddition (CuAAC) reaction. This copper(I)-catalyzed 1,3-dipolar cycloaddition is triggered by SP under UV light irradiation, exhibits oxygen tolerance and temporal control, and provides a convenient alternative to current CuAAC systems, particularly for biomolecular conjugations.

MeSH terms

  • Alkynes / chemistry*
  • Azides / chemistry*
  • Biocompatible Materials / chemical synthesis*
  • Biocompatible Materials / chemistry
  • Copper / chemistry*
  • Cycloaddition Reaction
  • Molecular Structure
  • Photochemical Processes
  • Pyruvates / chemistry*
  • Ultraviolet Rays


  • Alkynes
  • Azides
  • Biocompatible Materials
  • Pyruvates
  • Copper