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DNA-Templated Introduction of an Aldehyde Handle in Proteins

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Many medical and biotechnological applications rely on labeling of proteins, but one key challenge is the production of homogeneous and site-specific conjugates. This can rarely be achieved by mere residue-specific random labeling, but requires genetic engineering. Using site-selective DNA-templated reductive amination we create DNA-protein conjugates with control over labeling stoichiometry without genetic engineering. A guiding DNA strand with a metal-binding functionality facilitates site-selectivity by directing coupling of a second reactive DNA strand to the vicinity of a protein metal-binding site. Here, we demonstrate DNA-templated reductive amination for His6-tagged proteins and native metal-binding proteins, including IgG1 antibodies. We also use a cleavable linker between the DNA and the protein to remove the DNA and introduce a single aldehyde to proteins. This functions as a handle for further modifications with desired labels. In addition to directing the aldehyde positioning, the DNA provides a straightforward route of purification between reaction steps.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1338-1342
Number of pages5
Publication statusPublished - 2016

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