Unnatural Amino Acids

Unnatural Amino Acids (UAAs) can be incorporated into proteins at defined positions during de novo protein synthesis. They react with specific natural amino acid residues, forming covalent linkages within and between proteins both in vitro and in live systems. UAAs can be used to investigate the structure and dynamics of proteins, to study their interactions, or to control their activity in living cells.

Products
Background
Literature
Cat. No. Product Name / Activity
5113 AbK
Photo-crosslinking probe; unnatural amino acid
6584 L-Azidohomoalanine hydrochloride
Unnatural amino acid for bio-orthogonal labeling of newly synthesized proteins
6585 L-Azidonorleucine hydrochloride
Unnatural amino acid for bio-orthogonal or fluorescent labeling of newly synthesized proteins
6786 BzF
Photoreactive unnatural amino acid; photo-crosslinker
6647 HADA
Blue fluorescent D-amino acid for labeling peptidoglycans in live bacteria
6648 NADA-green
Fluorescent D-amino acid for labeling peptidoglycans in live bacteria
6659 sBADA
Green fluorescent D-amino acid for labeling peptidoglycans in bacteria

Unnatural Amino Acids (UAAs) can be incorporated into cellular proteins either site specifically, via genetic code expansion, or throughout the proteome, via residue-specific incorporation. Genetic code expansion uses an engineered tRNA synthetase/tRNA pair to specifically insert the UAA into a polypeptide chain in response to an amber stop codon on the mRNA. Residue-specific incorporation uses certain UAAs that are substrates for the aminoacyl-tRNA-synthetase of the natural amino acid. The UAA competes with the natural amino acid for incorporation into proteins, leading to partial proteome-wide labeling.

UAAs are useful in many areas of research for example, they can be incorporated into fluorescent proteins, forming crosslinks to improve photostability in imaging, particularly for super-resolution microscopy. UAAs can also be employed to analyze protein synthesis using the techniques bio-orthogonal non-canonical amino acid tagging (BONCAT) or fluorescent non-canonical amino acid tagging (FUNCAT). An appropriately tagged UAA can access bio-orthogonal chemistries to achieve specific labeling in live cells, which can be a useful way to selectively incorporate fluorescent probes for live cell imaging. Another function is to incorporate them into enzymes to explore or improve their activity. Other UAAs are photoreactive, such that exposure to light of a specific wavelength triggers the formation of covalent crosslinks, enabling selective and potent inactivation of protein function. Photoactivatable UAAs can be used to investigate the function of proteins such as ion channels, transporters and GPCRs.

Literature for Unnatural Amino Acids

Tocris offers the following scientific literature for Unnatural Amino Acids to showcase our products. We invite you to request* or download your copy today!

*Please note that Tocris will only send literature to established scientific business / institute addresses.


New Product Guide

New Product Guide (Fall/Winter 2018/2019)

Our new product guide highlights over 190 new products added to the Tocris Bioscience range during the second half of 2018.

  • 7-TM Receptors
  • Enzymes
  • Enzyme-Linked Receptors
  • Ion Channels
  • Nuclear Receptors
  • Transporters
  • Chemogenetics
  • Epigenetics
  • Fluorescent Imaging
  • PROTACs
  • Signal Transduction
  • Stem Cells