Thiol–ene click chemistry: a biocompatible way for orthogonal bioconjugation of colloidal nanoparticles†
Bioconjugation based on crosslinking primary amines to carboxylic acid groups has found broad applications in protein modification, drug development, and nanomaterial functionalization. However, proteins, which are made up of amino acids, typically give nonselective bioconjugation when using primary amine-based crosslinking. In order to control protein orientation and activity after conjugation, selective bioconjugation is desirable. We herein report an efficient and cysteine-selective thiol–ene click reaction-based bioconjugation strategy using colloidal nanoparticles. The resulting thiol–ene based aptamer and enzyme nanoconjugates demonstrated excellent target binding ability and enzymatic activity, respectively. Thus, thiol–ene click chemistry can provide a stable and robust crosslinker in a biocompatible manner for bioconjugation of any thiol-containing biomolecule with nanomaterials. This will open more opportunities for applications of thiol–ene reactions and functional colloidal nanoparticles in chemical biology.