Synthesis of proteins with defined posttranslational modifications using the genetic noncanonical amino acid incorporation approach
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Posttranslational modifications modulate the activities of most eukaryotic proteins and play a critical role in all aspects of cellular life. Understanding functional roles of these modifications requires homogeneously modified proteins that are usually difficult to purify from their natural sources. An emerging powerful tool for synthesis of proteins with defined posttranslational modifications is to genetically encode modified amino acids in living cells and incorporate them directly into proteins during the protein translation process. Using this approach, homogenous proteins with tyrosine sulfation, tyrosine phosphorylation mimics, tyrosine nitration, lysine acetylation, lysine methylation, and ubiquitination have been synthesized in large quantities. In this review, we provide a brief introduction to protein posttranslational modifications and the genetic noncanonical amino acid (NAA) incorporation technique, then discuss successful applications of the genetic NAA incorporation approach to produce proteins with defined modifications, and end with challenges and ongoing methodology developments for synthesis of proteins with other modifications.
author list (cited authors)
Liu, W. R., Wang, Y., & Wan, W.