Semisynthesis of proteins by expressed protein ligation

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Expressed protein ligation (EPL) is a protein engineering approach that allows recombinant and synthetic polypeptides to be chemoselectively and regioselectively joined together. The approach makes the primary structure of most proteins accessible to the tools of synthetic organic chemistry, enabling the covalent structure of proteins to be modified in an unprecedented fashion. The ability to incorporate noncoded amino acids, biophysical probes, and stable isotopes into specific locations within proteins provides research tools to peer into the inner workings of these molecules. In this review I discuss the development of this technology, its broad application to biological systems, and its possible role in the area of proteomics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)249-289
Number of pages41
JournalAnnual review of biochemistry
StatePublished - 2003
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry


  • Chemical ligation
  • Inteins
  • Protein engineering
  • Semisynthesis


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