Genetically Encoded 2-Aryl-5-carboxytetrazoles for Site-Selective Protein Photo-Cross-Linking. Academic Article uri icon


  • 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.

published proceedings

  • J Am Chem Soc

author list (cited authors)

  • Tian, Y., Jacinto, M. P., Zeng, Y. u., Yu, Z., Qu, J., Liu, W. R., & Lin, Q.

citation count

  • 46

complete list of authors

  • Tian, Yulin||Jacinto, Marco Paolo||Zeng, Yu||Yu, Zhipeng||Qu, Jun||Liu, Wenshe R||Lin, Qing

publication date

  • April 2017