Fmoc-based synthesis of peptide α-thioesters using an aryl hydrazine support

Julio A. Camarero, Benjamin J. Hackel, James J. De Yoreo, Alexander R. Mitchell

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112 Scopus citations


C-Terminal peptide thioesters are key intermediates in the synthesis/semisynthesis of proteins and of cyclic peptides by native chemical ligation. They are prepared by solid-phase peptide synthesis (SPPS) or biosynthetically by protein splicing techniques. Until recently, the chemical synthesis of C-terminal α-thioester peptides by SPPS was largely restricted to the use of Boc/Benzyl chemistry due to the poor stability of the thioester bond to the basic conditions required for the deprotection of the Nα-Fmoc group. In the present work, we describe a new method for the SPPS of C-terminal thioesters using Fmoc/t-Bu chemistry. This method is based on the use of an aryl hydrazine linker, which is totally stable to conditions required for Fmoc-SPPS. When the peptide synthesis has been completed, activation of the linker is achieved by mild oxidation. This step converts the acyl hydrazine group into a highly reactive acyl diazene intermediate which reacts with an α-amino acid alkyl thioester (H-AA-SR) to yield the corresponding peptide α-thioester in good yield. This method has been successfully used to prepare a variety of peptide thioesters, cyclic peptides, and a fully functional Src homology 3 (SH3) protein domain.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4145-4151
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Organic Chemistry
Issue number12
StatePublished - Jun 11 2004


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