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J Am Chem Soc. 2008 Dec 24;130(51):17568-74. doi: 10.1021/ja807066f.

Tuning a three-component reaction for trapping kinase substrate complexes.

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Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Department of Cellular and Molecular Pharmacology, University of California, San Francisco, California 94107, USA.


The upstream protein kinases responsible for thousands of phosphorylation events in the phosphoproteome remain to be discovered. We developed a three-component chemical reaction which converts the transient noncovalent substrate-kinase complex into a covalently cross-linked product by utilizing a dialdehyde-based cross-linker, 1. Unfortunately, the reaction of 1 with a lysine in the kinase active site and an engineered cysteine on the substrate to form an isoindole cross-linked product could not be performed in the presence of competing cellular proteins due to nonspecific side reactions. In order to more selectively target the cross-linker to protein kinases in cell lysates, we replaced the weak, kinase-binding adenosine moiety of 1 with a potent protein kinase inhibitor scaffold. In addition, we replaced the o-phthaldialdehyde moiety in 1 with a less-reactive thiophene-2,3-dicarboxaldehyde moiety. The combination of these two structural modifications provides for cross-linking of a cysteine-containing substrate to its corresponding kinase in the presence of competing cellular proteins.

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