The field of site-specific modification of proteins has drawn significant attention in recent years owing to its importance in various research areas such as the development of novel therapeutics and understanding the biochemical and cellular behaviors of proteins. The presence of a large number of reactive functional groups in the protein of interest and in the cellular environment renders modification at a specific site a highly challenging task. With the development of sophisticated chemical methodologies it is now possible to target a specific site of a protein with a desired modification, however, many challenges remain to be solved. In this context, transition metals in particular palladium-mediated C−C bond-forming and C−O bond-cleavage reactions gained great interest owing to the unique catalytic properties of palladium. Palladium chemistry is being explored for protein modifications in vitro, on the cell surface, and within the cell. Very recently, palladium complexes have been applied for the rapid deprotection of several widely utilized cysteine protecting groups as well as in the removal of solubilizing tags to facilitate chemical protein synthesis. This Minireview highlights these advances and how the accumulated knowledge of palladium chemistry for small molecules is being impressively transferred to synthesis and modification of chemical proteins.
- bioorthogonal chemistry
- chemical protein synthesis
- protein modifications
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