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Issue 1, 2016
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Profiling the reactivity of cyclic C-nucleophiles towards electrophilic sulfur in cysteine sulfenic acid

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Abstract

Oxidation of a protein cysteine thiol to sulfenic acid, termed S-sulfenylation, is a reversible post-translational modification that plays a crucial role in regulating protein function and is correlated with disease states. The majority of reaction-based small molecule and immunochemical probes used for detecting sulfenic acids are based on the 5,5-dimethyl-1,3-cyclohexanedione (dimedone) scaffold, which is selective, but suffers from low reactivity. In addition, mechanistic details and features that diminish or enhance nucleophile reactivity remain largely unknown. A significant hurdle to resolving the aforementioned issues has been the chemically unstable nature of small-molecule sulfenic acid models. Herein, we report a facile mass spectrometry-based assay and repurposed dipeptide-based model to screen a library of cyclic C-nucleophiles for reactivity with sulfenic acid under aqueous conditions. Observed rate constants for ∼100 cyclic C-nucleophiles were obtained and, from this collection, we have identified novel compounds with more than 200-fold enhanced reactivity, as compared to dimedone. The increase in reactivity and retention of selectivity of these C-nucleophiles were validated in secondary assays, including a protein model for sulfenic acid. Together, this work represents a significant step toward developing new chemical reporters for detecting protein S-sulfenylation with superior kinetic resolution. The enhanced rates and varied composition of the C-nucleophiles should enable more comprehensive analyses of the sulfenome and serve as the foundation for reversible or irreversible nucleophilic covalent inhibitors that target oxidized cysteine residues in therapeutically important proteins.

Graphical abstract: Profiling the reactivity of cyclic C-nucleophiles towards electrophilic sulfur in cysteine sulfenic acid

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Publication details

The article was received on 15 júl. 2015, accepted on 05 okt. 2015 and first published on 07 okt. 2015


Article type: Edge Article
DOI: 10.1039/C5SC02569A
Citation: Chem. Sci., 2016,7, 400-415
  • Open access: Creative Commons BY license
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    Profiling the reactivity of cyclic C-nucleophiles towards electrophilic sulfur in cysteine sulfenic acid

    V. Gupta and K. S. Carroll, Chem. Sci., 2016, 7, 400
    DOI: 10.1039/C5SC02569A

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