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Chemical Biology Lecture: The power of chemoselectivity - Functional peptide and protein-conjugates for proteomic and pharmaceutical research

  • Dr. Christian Hackenberger (FMP Leibniz)
Thursday 5 July 2018
Gorlaeus Building
Einsteinweg 55
2333 CC Leiden


Our lab aims to identify new bioorthogonal reactions for the synthesis and modification of functional peptides and proteins. We apply these highly selective organic reactions1 to study functional consequences of naturally occurring posttranslational protein modifications (PTMs), in particular phosphorylated Lys- and Cystein-peptides,2 as well as to generate novel peptide- and protein-conjugates for pharmaceutical and medicinal applications.

In this presentation l will focus on the chemical modification of functional proteins as well as their cellular delivery. Thereby, we employ cyclic cell penetrating peptides (cCPPs) to transport a functional full length protein to the cytosol of living cells as recently demonstrated by the direct delivery of GFP-conjugates.3 For protein modification we use a combined approach of intein expression as well as recently developed bioorthogonal reactions and enzymatic ligations, for instance the so-called Tub-tag labeling.4

This concept is finally applied to generate new antibody-drug conjugates, multivalent protein-scaffolds as well as cell-permeable nanobodies, i.e. small antigen binding proteins that remain active within the reductive milieu inside living cells, to interfere with intracellular targets.5


  1. D. Schumacher, C.P.R. Hackenberger, Curr. Opin. Chem. Biol. 2014, 22, 62-69.
  2. a) J. Bertran-Vicente, R.A. Serwa, M. Schümann, P. Schmieder, E. Krause, C.P.R. Hackenberger, J. Am Chem. Soc. 2014, 136(39), 13622-13628; b) J. Bertran-Vicente, M. Penkert, O. Nieto, M. Schümann, P. Schmieder, E. Krause, C.P.R. Hackenberger, Nature Comm. 2016, 7,12703.
  3. N. Nischan, H.D. Herce, F. Natale, N. Bohlke, N. Budisa, M.C. Cardoso, C.P.R. Hackenberger, Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2015, 54(6), 1950-1953.
  4. a) D. Schumacher, J. Helma, F.A. Mann, G. Pichler, F. Natale, E. Krause, M.C. Cardoso, C.P.R. Hackenberger, H. Leonhardt, Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2015, 54(46), 13787-13791, b) D. Schumacher, O. Lemke, J. Helma, L. Gerszonowicz, V. Waller, T. Stoschek, P.M. Durkin, N. Budisa, H. Leonhardt, B.G. Keller, C.P.R. Hackenberger, Chem. Sci. 2017, 8, 3471-3478
  5. H. Herce, D. Schumacher, F.A. Mann, A. Ludwig, A. Schneider, M. Filies, S. Reinke, C. Cardoso, C.P.R. Hackenberger, Nature Chem. 2017, 9, 762-771.

The Hackenberger Lab

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