Probing lysine posttranslational modifications by unnatural amino acids

Marijn N Maas, Jordi C J Hintzen, Jasmin Mecinović*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Posttranslational modifications, typically small chemical tags attached on amino acids following protein biosynthesis, have a profound effect on protein structure and function. Numerous chemically and structurally diverse posttranslational modifications, including methylation, acetylation, hydroxylation, and ubiquitination, have been identified and characterised on lysine residues in proteins. In this feature article, we focus on chemical tools that rely on the site-specific incorporation of unnatural amino acids into peptides and proteins to probe posttranslational modifications of lysine. We highlight that simple amino acid mimics enable detailed mechanistic and functional assignment of enzymes that install and remove such modifications, and proteins that specifically recognise lysine posttranslational modifications.

Original languageEnglish
JournalChemical Communications
Issue number52
Pages (from-to)7216-7231
Publication statusPublished - 4. Jul 2022


  • Acetylation
  • Amino Acids/metabolism
  • Lysine/chemistry
  • Protein Processing, Post-Translational
  • Proteins/metabolism
  • Ubiquitination


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