Native Chemical Ligation and Beyond: Recent Developments in Chemical Protein Synthesis

The total chemical synthesis of proteins has been one of the most challenging topics of organic chemistry in 20th century. The discovery of solid phase peptide synthesis (SPPS) in 1963 by R.B. Merrifield and the development of native chemical ligation (NCL) in 1994 by Kent and coworkers enabled the synthesis of large proteins. Moreover, NCL expanded the scope of total chemical protein synthesis immensely by allowing site-specific introduction of native and artificial modifications. Researchers continuously try to refine the conditions for NCL. Thus, I will report on two recent publications with respect to their application in NCL and chemical protein synthesis.

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Contributed by Can Araman

Can Araman completed his PhD degree under the supervision of Prof. Christian Becker at the University of Vienna. During this period, he worked on the semisynthesis of prion protein variants carrying glycan mimics and investigated their biophysical/biochemical properties in vitro. Currently, he is working as a postdoctoral researcher at the Leiden Institute of Chemistry (Netherlands), Bioorganic Synthesis Division under the guidance of Dr. Sander van Kasteren. His research interests are directed towards to the study kinetics of antigen processing & presentation using bioorthogonal chemistry as well as semisynthesis of posttranslationally modified antigens.

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