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Copper-mediated selenazolidine deprotection enables one-pot chemical synthesis of challenging proteins

preprint
submitted on 19.07.2019 and posted on 23.07.2019 by Zhenguang Zhao, Norman Metanis

While chemical protein synthesis (CPS) has granted access to challenging proteins, synthesis of longer proteins is often limited by low abundance or non-strategic placement of cysteine (Cys) residues, essential for native chemical ligations (NCL), as well as multiple purification and isolation steps. Selective deselenization and one-pot CPS serve as key technologies to circumvent these issues. Herein, we describe the one-pot total synthesis of human thiosulfate: glutathione sulfurtransferase (TSTD1), a 115-residue protein with a single Cys residue at its active site, and its seleno-analogue. WT-TSTD1 was synthesized in a C-to-N synthetic approach employing multiple NCL reactions, Cu(II)-mediated deprotection of selenazolidine (Sez), and chemoselective deselenization, all in one-pot. In addition, the protein’s seleno analogue (Se-TSTD1), in which the active site Cys is replaced with selenocysteine, was synthesized with a kinetically controlled ligation in a one-pot, N-to-C synthetic approach. TSTD1’s one-pot synthesis was made possible by the newly reported, rapid, and facile copper-mediated selenazolidine deprotection that can be accomplished in one minute. Finally, catalytic activity of the two proteins indicated that Se-TSTD1 possessed only four-fold lower activity than WT-TSTD1 as a thiosulfate: glutathione sulfurtransferase, suggesting that selenoproteins can have physiologically comparable sulfutransferase activity as their cysteine counterparts.

History

Email Address of Submitting Author

metanis@mail.huji.ac.il

Institution

The Hebrew University of Jerusalem

Country

Israel

ORCID For Submitting Author

0000-0002-6373-9318

Declaration of Conflict of Interest

We declare no conflict of interest

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