WARF: P04016US

Methods and Reagents for Appending Functional Groups to Proteins


Ronald Raines, Jeet Kalia

The Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF) is seeking commercial partners interested in a bifunctional molecule for the site-selective functionalization of peptides and proteins.
OVERVIEWMolecules that contain two functional groups of distinct reactivity can be used to link two biomolecules or to immobilize a biomolecule on a surface, such as a protein microarray. These bifunctional molecules must react with their targets in a physiological environment, and the two functional groups must not react with each other.
THE INVENTIONUW-Madison researchers have developed a bifunctional molecule for the site-selective functionalization of peptides and proteins. This molecule can be used to covalently link a peptide or protein to a biological or chemical entity, such as a particular functional group, a reporter molecule, a biological molecule, a ligand that in turn binds a receptor, a small molecule like an antibiotic, or a biological/substrate surface. It has the formula H2N-NH-CH2-M-L-FG, where M is a single bond or a chemical group carrying a non-bonding electron pair, L is a linker, and FG is a functional group, such as an azido group (-N3), which has different reactivity than the hydrazino group (H2NHN-). The hydrazino group reacts with a thioester group at the C-terminus of the target peptide or protein to link the protein to the bifunctional molecule, while the azido group links to a functionalized surface or other chemical species.
  • Linking two biomolecules
  • Immobilizing a biomolecule on a surface
  • Provides a superior method for making protein “chips”
  • Synthesis method is elegant and easy.
  • The part of the molecule that links the azido group and the hydrazino group can have a variety of characteristics—for example, it can be hydrophobic or hydrophilic, rigid or flexible, long or short.
  • Reacts more rapidly than existing technology
  • Hydrazino and azido groups do not react with most biomolecules.
  • Reaction can take place in a physiological environment and at physiological temperatures, which minimizes the inactivation of biological molecules.
  • Provides nearly 100 percent coupling yield
For More Information About the Inventors
Contact Information
For current licensing status, please contact Jennifer Gottwald at or 608-960-9854.
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