Synfacts 2019; 15(10): 1191
DOI: 10.1055/s-0039-1690934
Chemistry in Medicine and Biology
© Georg Thieme Verlag Stuttgart · New York

Staudinger Ligation in Living Animals

Dirk Trauner
Andrej Shemet
Prescher JA, Dube DH, Bertozzi CR. * University of California, Berkeley, USA
Chemical Remodelling of Cell Surfaces in Living Animals.

Nature 2004;
430: 873-877
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17. September 2019 (online)



Chemical modification of cell-surface glycans in living animals provides a means to study these biopolymers within their native environment. The Staudinger ligation is a bioorthogonal reaction that can be carried out in the whole ­organism. This reaction is frequently used for the study of lipids, steroids, and cofactors.



Bertozzi and co-workers demonstrated the Staudinger ligation of an azide (SiaNAz) and a functionalized phosphine (Phos-Flag) in living mice. The azide was delivered to cell-surface glycoconjugates by metabolism of ManNAz to SiaNAz. The ligation in mice tissue was detected using fluorescein isothiocyanate-labelled anti-Flag antibodies followed by flow cytometry analysis.