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Splicing of Unnatural Amino Acids Into Proteins: A Peptide Model Study

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S-Ethyl 2-azidohexanethioate (N3-Hex-SEt), an unnatural amino acid analog of leucine, is coupled with L-cysteine ethyl ester (NH2-Cys-OEt) to obtain N3-Hex-Cys-OEt by native chemical ligation. Coupling of this dipeptide with N-t-butoxycarbonyl-2-diphenylphosphinoethanethioglycinate produces the tripeptide, t-Boc-Gly-Hex-Cys-OEt, in high yield. These reactions suggest an approach for the incorporation of unnatural amino acids into proteins by successive native chemical ligation and Staudinger ligation.
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Keywords: Staudinger ligation; peptide coupling; phosphinothiol; unnatural amino acid incorporation

Document Type: Review Article

Affiliations: University of Toledo, Department of Chemistry, Toledo, Ohio 43606, USA.

Publication date: 01 April 2004

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  • Protein & Peptide Letters publishes short papers in all important aspects of protein and peptide research, including structural studies, recombinant expression, function, synthesis, enzymology, immunology, molecular modeling, drug design etc. Manuscripts must have a significant element of novelty, timeliness and urgency that merit rapid publication. Reports of crystallisation, and preliminary structure determinations of biologically important proteins are acceptable. Purely theoretical papers are also acceptable provided they provide new insight into the principles of protein/peptide structure and function.
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