Tian, He; Sakmar, Thomas P.; Huber, Thomas
Micelle-Enhanced Bioorthogonal Labeling of Genetically Encoded Azido Groups on the Lipid-Embedded Surface of a GPCR
CHEMBIOCHEM, 16:1314-1322, JUN 15 2015

Genetically encoded p-azido-phenylalanine (azF) residues in G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) can be targeted with dibenzocyclooctyne-modified (DIBO-modified) fluorescent probes by means of strain-promoted [3+2] azide-alkyne cycloaddition (SpAAC). Here we show that azF residues situated on the transmembrane surfaces of detergent-solubilized receptors exhibit up to 1000-fold rate enhancement relative to azF residues on water-exposed surfaces. We show that the amphipathic moment of the labeling reagent, consisting of hydrophobic DIBO coupled to hydrophilic Alexa dye, results in strong partitioning of the DIBO group into the hydrocarbon core of the detergent micelle and consequently high local reactant concentrations. The observed rate constant for the micelleenhanced SpAAC is comparable with those of the fastest bioorthogonal labeling reactions known. Targeting hydrophobic regions of membrane proteins by use of micelle-enhanced SpAAC should expand the utility of bioorthogonal labeling strategies.


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