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Cysteine-Selective Modification of Peptides and Proteins via Desulfurative C−C Bond Formation

Griffiths, Rhys C.; Smith, Frances R.; Li, Diyuan; Wyatt, Jasmine; Rogers, David M; Long, Jed E.; Cusin, Lola M. L.; Tighe, Patrick J.; Layfield, Robert; Hirst, Jonathan D.; Muller, Manuel M.; Mitchell, Nicholas


Rhys C. Griffiths

Diyuan Li

Jasmine Wyatt

Jed E. Long

Lola M. L. Cusin

Professor of Molecular Immunology

Manuel M. Muller


The site-selective modification of peptides and proteins facilitates the preparation of targeted therapeutic agents and tools to interrogate biochemical pathways. Among the numerous bioconjugation techniques developed to install groups of interest, those that generate C(sp3)−C(sp3) bonds are significantly underrepresented despite affording proteolytically stable, biogenic linkages. Herein, a visible-light-mediated reaction is described that enables the site-selective modification of peptides and proteins via desulfurative C(sp3)−C(sp3) bond formation. The reaction is rapid and high yielding in peptide systems, with comparable translation to proteins. Using this chemistry, a range of moieties is installed into model systems and an effective PTM-mimic is successfully integrated into a recombinantly expressed histone.


Griffiths, R. C., Smith, F. R., Li, D., Wyatt, J., Rogers, D. M., Long, J. E., …Mitchell, N. (2023). Cysteine-Selective Modification of Peptides and Proteins via Desulfurative C−C Bond Formation. Chemistry - A European Journal, 29(16), Article e202202503.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Dec 16, 2022
Online Publication Date Feb 14, 2023
Publication Date Mar 16, 2023
Deposit Date Jan 25, 2023
Publicly Available Date Feb 14, 2023
Journal Chemistry - A European Journal
Print ISSN 0947-6539
Electronic ISSN 1521-3765
Publisher Wiley
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 29
Issue 16
Article Number e202202503
Keywords General Chemistry; Catalysis; Organic Chemistry
Public URL
Publisher URL


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