Methods of using click chemistry in the discovery of enzyme inhibitors

Rajavel Srinivasan, Junqi Li, Su Ling Ng, Karunakaran A. Kalesh, Shao Q. Yao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This protocol describes the step-by-step procedures for the efficient assembly of bidentate inhibitor libraries of a target enzyme, using the so-called 'click chemistry' between an alkyne-bearing core group and an azide-modified peripheral group, followed by direct biological screening for the identification of potential 'hits'. The reaction is highlighted by its modularity, high efficiency (∼100% yield in most cases) and tolerance toward many functional groups present in the fragments, as well as biocompatibility (typically carried out in aqueous conditions with small amounts of biocompatible catalysts). The approach consists of three steps: (i) chemical synthesis of alkyne-bearing protein tyrosine phosphatase or matrix metalloprotease core groups and diverse azide-modified peripheral groups; (ii) click chemistry to assemble the bidentate inhibitor libraries; and (iii) direct screening of the libraries with target enzymes using 384-well microplate assays. Following the chemical synthesis of the core and peripheral groups and optimization of the click chemistry conditions (∼1 week), steps (ii) and (iii) take 3 d to complete (∼1–2 d for library assembly and 1 d for inhibitor screening).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2655–2664
JournalNature Protocols
Publication statusPublished - 25 Oct 2007
Externally publishedYes


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