Stereoretentive Post-Translational Protein Editing

ACS Cent Sci. 2023 Feb 24;9(3):405-416. doi: 10.1021/acscentsci.2c00991. eCollection 2023 Mar 22.


Chemical post-translational methods allow convergent side-chain editing of proteins without needing to resort to genetic intervention. Current approaches that allow the creation of constitutionally native side chains via C-C bond formation, using off-protein carbon-centered C· radicals added to unnatural amino acid radical acceptor (SOMOphile, singly occupied molecular orbital (SOMO)) "tags" such as dehydroalanine, are benign and wide-ranging. However, they also typically create epimeric mixtures of d/l-residues. Here, we describe a light-mediated desulfurative method that, through the creation and reaction of stereoretained on-proteinl-alanyl Cβ· radicals, allows Cβ-Hγ, Cβ-Oγ, Cβ-Seγ, Cβ-Bγ, and Cβ-Cγ bond formation to flexibly generate site-selectively edited proteins with full retention of native stereochemistry under mild conditions from a natural amino acid precursor. This methodology shows great potential to explore protein side-chain diversity and function and in the construction of useful bioconjugates.