FRET-based cyanine probes for monitoring ligation reactions and their applications to mechanistic studies and catalyst screening†
There is an ever-increasing need to design better methods to selectively connect two molecules under mild aqueous conditions on a small scale. The process of finding such methods significantly relies on the employment of an appropriate assay. We report here a modular FRET-based assay to monitor such reactions and illustrate how the assay is used to monitor two particular reactions: native chemical ligation (NCL) and oxime ligation. For both reactions we show that by employing appropriately designed probes FRET measurements could be used to monitor the reaction's progress. We additionally demonstrate the usefulness of the developed probe system to study the mechanisms of the ligation reactions, for example, in monitoring the formation of a trimeric intermediate in the NCL reaction. Finally, we demonstrate that FRET measurements conducted in our system allow the quantification of the reaction yield and we show the application of our FRET-based assay to catalyst screening for the oxime ligation.