Halomethyl-Triazoles for Rapid, Site-Selective Protein Modification

Richard C. Brewster, Alison N. Hulme

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Post-translational modifications (PTMs) are used by organisms to control protein structure and function after protein translation, but their study is complicated and their roles are not often well understood as PTMs are difficult to introduce onto proteins selectively. Designing reagents that are both good mimics of PTMs, but also only modify select amino acid residues in proteins is challenging. Frequently, both a chemical warhead and linker are used, creating a product that is a misrepresentation of the natural modification. We have previously shown that biotin-chloromethyl-triazole is an effective reagent for cysteine modification to give S-Lys derivatives where the triazole is a good mimic of natural lysine acylation. Here, we demonstrate both how the reactivity of the alkylating reagents can be increased and how the range of triazole PTM mimics can be expanded. These new iodomethyl-triazole reagents are able to modify a cysteine residue on a histone protein with excellent selectivity in 30 min to give PTM mimics of acylated lysine side-chains. Studies on the more complicated, folded protein SCP-2L showed promising reactivity, but also suggested the halomethyl-triazoles are potent alkylators of methionine residues.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5461
Issue number18
Early online date8 Sep 2021
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 8 Sep 2021


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