Incorporation of chemical probes into proteins is a powerful way to elucidate biological processes and to engineer novel function. Here we describe an approach that allows ligation of synthetic molecules to target proteins in an intracellular environment. A cellular protein is genetically tagged with one-half of a split intein. The complementary half is linked in vitro to the synthetic probe, and this fusion is delivered into cells using a transduction peptide. Association of the intein halves in the cytosol triggers protein trans-splicing, resulting in the ligation of the probe to the target protein through a peptide bond. This process is specific and applicable to cytosolic and integral membrane proteins. The technology should allow cellular proteins to be elaborated with a variety of abiotic probes.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- General Chemistry
- Colloid and Surface Chemistry