Jump to main content
Jump to site search

Issue 2, 2009
Previous Article Next Article

Total chemical synthesis of proteins

Author affiliations


This tutorial review outlines the modern ligation methods that enable the efficient total chemical synthesis of enzymes and other protein molecules. Key to this success is the chemoselective reaction of unprotected synthetic peptides (‘chemical ligation’). Notably, native chemical ligation enables the reaction of two unprotected peptides in aqueous solution at neutral pH to form a single product in near quantitative yield. Full-length synthetic polypeptides are folded to form the defined tertiary structure of the target protein molecule, which is characterized by mass spectrometry, NMR, and X-ray crystallography, in addition to biochemical and/or biological activity.

Graphical abstract: Total chemical synthesis of proteins

Back to tab navigation

Article information

07 Apr 2008
First published
16 Sep 2008

Chem. Soc. Rev., 2009,38, 338-351
Article type
Tutorial Review

Total chemical synthesis of proteins

S. B. H. Kent, Chem. Soc. Rev., 2009, 38, 338
DOI: 10.1039/B700141J

Social activity

Search articles by author