General dual functionalisation of biomacromolecules via a cysteine bridging strategy†
Site-selective modification of peptides and proteins has resulted in the development of a host of novel tools for the study of cellular systems or the synthesis of enhanced biotherapeutics. There is a need for useful methodologies that enable site-selective modification of native peptides or proteins, which is even more prevalent when modification of the biomolecule with multiple payloads is desired. Herein, we report the development of a novel dual functional divinylpyrimidine (dfDVP) platform that enables robust and modular modification of peptides, antibody fragments and antibodies. These biomacromolecules could be easily functionalised with a range of functional payloads (e.g. fluorescent dyes, cytotoxic warheads or cell-penetrating tags). Importantly, the dual functionalised peptides and antibodies demonstrated exquisite bioactivity in a range of in vitro cellular assays, showcasing the enhanced utility of these bioactive conjugates.