Norbornene probes for the study of cysteine oxidation

08 Jun 2018

Cysteine residues on proteins can react with cellular oxidants such as hydrogen peroxide. While this process is important for scavenging excess reactive oxygen species, the products of this oxidation may also mediate cell signalling. To understand the role of cysteine oxidation in biology, selective probes are required to detect and quantify its occurence. Cysteine oxidation products such as sulfenic acids are sometimes unstable and therefore short-lived. If such cysteine derivatives are to be analysed, rapid reaction with the probe is required. Here we introduce norbornene derivatives as probes for cysteine oxidation, and demonstrate their ability to trap sulfenic acids. The synthesis of norbornene derivatives containing alkyne or biotin affinity tags are also reported to facilitate the use of these probes in chemical biology and proteomics.