Posttranslational mutagenesis: A chemical strategy for exploring protein side-chain diversity.
Wright TH., Bower BJ., Chalker JM., Bernardes GJL., Wiewiora R., Ng W-L., Raj R., Faulkner S., Vallée MRJ., Phanumartwiwath A., Coleman OD., Thézénas M-L., Khan M., Galan SRG., Lercher L., Schombs MW., Gerstberger S., Palm-Espling ME., Baldwin AJ., Kessler BM., Claridge TDW., Mohammed S., Davis BG.
Posttranslational modification of proteins expands their structural and functional capabilities beyond those directly specified by the genetic code. However, the vast diversity of chemically plausible (including unnatural but functionally relevant) side chains is not readily accessible. We describe C (sp3)-C (sp3) bond-forming reactions on proteins under biocompatible conditions, which exploit unusual carbon free-radical chemistry, and use them to form Cβ-Cγ bonds with altered side chains. We demonstrate how these transformations enable a wide diversity of natural, unnatural, posttranslationally modified (methylated, glycosylated, phosphorylated, hydroxylated), and labeled (fluorinated, isotopically labeled) side chains to be added to a common, readily accessible dehydroalanine precursor in a range of representative protein types and scaffolds. This approach, outside of the rigid constraints of the ribosome and enzymatic processing, may be modified more generally for access to diverse proteins.