2021-06-24Zeitschriftenartikel DOI: 10.18452/25956
Enabling Cysteine-Free Native Chemical Ligation at Challenging Junctions with a Ligation Auxiliary Capable of Base Catalysis
Ligation auxiliaries are used in chemical protein synthesis to extend the scope of native chemical ligation (NCL) beyond cysteine. However, auxiliary-mediated ligations at sterically demanding junctions have been difficult. Often the thioester intermediate formed in the thiol exchange step of NCL accumulates because the subsequent S→N acyl transfer is extremely slow. Here we introduce the 2-mercapto-2-(pyridin-2-yl)ethyl (MPyE) group as the first auxiliary designed to aid the ligation reaction by catalysis. Notably, the MPyE auxiliary provides useful rates even for junctions containing proline or a β-branched amino acid. Quantum chemical calculations suggest that the pyridine nitrogen acts as an intramolecular base in a rate-determining proton transfer step. The auxiliary is prepared in two steps and conveniently introduced by reductive alkylation. Auxiliary cleavage is induced upon treatment with TCEP/morpholine in presence of a MnII complex as radical starter. The synthesis of a de novo designed 99mer peptide and an 80 aa long MUC1 peptide demonstrates the usefulness of the MPyE auxiliary.
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