Facilitating the process of chemical protein synthesis is an important goal in order to enable the efficient preparation of large and novel protein analogues. Native chemical ligation, which is widely used in the synthesis and semisynthesis of proteins, has been going through several developments to expedite the synthetic process and to obtain the target protein in high yield. A key aspect of this approach is the utilization of protecting groups for the N-terminal Cys in the middle fragments, which bear simultaneously the two reactive groups, i.e., N-terminal Cys and C-terminal thioester. Despite important progress in this area, as has been demonstrated in the use of thiazolidine protecting group in the synthesis of over 100 proteins, finding optimal protecting group(s) remains a challenge. For example, the thiazolidine removal step is very slow (>8 h), and in some cases the applied conditions lead to undesired side reactions. Here we show that water-soluble palladium(II) complexes are excellent reagents for the effective unmasking of thiazolidine, enabling its complete removal within 15 min under native chemical ligation conditions. Moreover, palladium is also able to rapidly remove propargyloxycarbonyl-protecting group from the N-terminal Cys in a similar efficiency. The utility of the new removal conditions for both protecting groups is exemplified in the rapid and efficient synthesis of Lys34-ubiquitinated H2B and for the first time neddlyated peptides derived from cullin1. The current approach expands the use of palladium in protein chemistry and should significantly facilitate the chemical and semisynthesis of synthetically challenging proteins from multiple fragments.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Chemistry (all)
- Colloid and Surface Chemistry