Insights into the deselenization of selenocysteine into alanine and serine

Shahar Dery, Post Sai Reddy, Linoy Dery, Reem Mousa, Rebecca Notis Dardashti, Norman Metanis*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

78 Scopus citations


The development of native chemical ligation coupled with desulfurization has allowed ligation at several new ligation junctions. However, desulfurization also converts all cysteine residues in the protein sequence into alanine. Deselenization of selenocysteine, in contrast, selectively removes the selenol group to give alanine in the presence of unprotected cysteines. In this study we shed more light onto the deselenization mechanism of selenocysteine to alanine and provide optimized conditions for the reaction. The deselenization can be accomplished in one minute under anaerobic conditions to give alanine. Under aerobic conditions (oxygen saturation), selenocysteine is converted into serine.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)6207-6212
Number of pages6
JournalChemical Science
Issue number11
StatePublished - 6 Aug 2015

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© The Royal Society of Chemistry.


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