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J Am Chem Soc. 2017 May 3;139(17):6078-6081. doi: 10.1021/jacs.7b02615. Epub 2017 Apr 21.

Genetically Encoded 2-Aryl-5-carboxytetrazoles for Site-Selective Protein Photo-Cross-Linking.

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Department of Chemistry, State University of New York at Buffalo , Buffalo, New York 14260, United States.
Department of Chemistry, Texas A&M University , College Station, Texas 77845, United States.
Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, State University of New York at Buffalo , Buffalo, New York 14260, United States.


The genetically encoded photo-cross-linkers promise to offer a temporally controlled tool to map transient and dynamic protein-protein interaction complexes in living cells. Here we report the synthesis of a panel of 2-aryl-5-carboxytetrazole-lysine analogs (ACTKs) and their site-specific incorporation into proteins via amber codon suppression in Escherichia coli and mammalian cells. Among five ACTKs investigated, N-methylpyrroletetrazole-lysine (mPyTK) was found to give robust and site-selective photo-cross-linking reactivity in E. coli when placed at an appropriate site at the protein interaction interface. A comparison study indicated that mPyTK exhibits higher photo-cross-linking efficiency than a diazirine-based photo-cross-linker, AbK, when placed at the same location of the interaction interface in vitro. When mPyTK was introduced into the adapter protein Grb2, it enabled the photocapture of EGFR in a stimulus-dependent manner. The design of mPyTK along with the identification of its cognate aminoacyl-tRNA synthetase makes it possible to map transient protein-protein interactions and their interfaces in living cells.

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