Expanding the chemical toolbox for the synthesis of large and uniquely modified proteins

Somasekhar Bondalapati, Muhammad Jbara, Ashraf Brik

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Methods to prepare proteins that include a specific modification at a desired position are essential for understanding their cellular functions and physical properties in living systems. Chemical protein synthesis, which relies on the chemoselective ligation of unprotected peptides, enables the preparation of modified proteins that are not easily fabricated by other methods. In contrast to recombinant approaches, chemical synthesis can be used to prepare protein analogues such as D-proteins, which are useful in protein structure determination and the discovery of novel therapeutics. Post-translationally modifying proteins is another example where chemical protein synthesis proved itself as a powerful approach for preparing samples with high homogeneity and in workable quantities. In this Review, we discuss the basic principles of the field, focusing on novel chemoselective peptide ligation approaches such as native chemical ligation and the recent advances based on this method with a proven record of success in the synthesis of highly important protein targets.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)407-418
Number of pages12
JournalNature Chemistry
Issue number5
StatePublished - 22 Apr 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Chemistry
  • General Chemical Engineering


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