In-Cell Synthesis of Bioorthogonal Alkene Tag S-Allyl-Homocycteine and Its Coupling with Reprogrammed Translation
S. Nojoumi, Y. Ma, A. Oder, S. Schwagerus, C.P.R. Hackenberger, N. Budisa – 2019
In this study, we report our initial results on in situ biosynthesis of S-allyl-l-homocysteine (Sahc) by simple metabolic conversion of allyl mercaptan in Escherichia coli, which served as the host organism endowed with a direct sulfhydration pathway. The intracellular synthesis we describe in this study is coupled with the direct incorporation of Sahc into proteins in response to methionine codons. Together with O-acetyl-homoserine, allyl mercaptan was added to the growth medium, followed by uptake and intracellular reaction to give Sahc. Our protocol efficiently combined the in vivo synthesis of Sahc via metabolic engineering with reprogrammed translation, without the need for a major change in the protein biosynthesis machinery. Although the system needs further optimisation to achieve greater intracellular Sahc production for complete protein labelling, we demonstrated its functional versatility for photo-induced thiol-ene coupling and the recently developed phosphonamidate conjugation reaction. Importantly, deprotection of Sahc leads to homocysteine-containing proteins-a potentially useful approach for the selective labelling of thiols with high relevance in various medical settings.