Raising the Efficacy of
Biocompatible Click Reaction

The strain-promoted 1,3-dipolar cycloaddition of azides and cyclooctynes has been widely used for site-selective labeling of biomolecules in vitro and in vivo. Meanwhile, the premium click reaction―the Cu(I)-catalyzed azide-alkyne cycloaddition (CuAAC)―has been excluded from in vivo applications due to the catalyst’s cytotoxicity until the recent debut of ligand systems that significantly accelerate the reaction rate and render the catalyst biocompatible. In close collaboration with Prof. Peng Wu’s lab at Albert Einstein School of Medicine, we are interested in improving the CuAAC formulation by exploring new Cu(I)-stabilizing ligands that show faster kinetics over known CuAAC catalysts. The new catalyst formulation could allow for lower Cu(I) loading for bioconjugation, thus be conferred with enhanced biocompatibility. The CuAAC based on a specific ligand, BTTAA, has been shown to be the most effective in different biological applications, thus representing a powerful and adaptive bioconjugation tool for biologists.


Besanceney, C.; Jiang, H.; Zheng, T.; Feng, L.; Soriano del Amo, D.; Wang, W.; Klivansky, L. M.; Marlow, F. L.*;
Liu, Y.;* Wu, P.* “Raising the Efficacy of Bioorthogonal Click Reactions for Bioconjugation: A Comparative Study”, Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. accepted.

Zheng, T.; Jiang, H.; Gros, M.;
Liu, Y.; Wu, P.* “Tracking N-acetyllactosamine on Cell Surface Glycans in vivo”, Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. in press.

Amo, D. S.; Wang, W.; Jiang, H.; Besanceney,C.; Amos, Y.; Levy, M.;
Liu, Y.; Marlow, F. L.; Wu, P.* “Dynamic in vivo Imaging Using Biocompatible Copper(I) Catalysts”, J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2010, 132, 16893-16899 (Highlighted by C&EN news “Imaging Molecules on Living Cells”).

Professor Peng Wu, Albert Einstein School of Medicine, Yeshiva University