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Evaluation of COMU as a coupling reagent for in situ neutralization Boc solid phase peptide synthesis


Well-characterized resins of high purity are critical for effective solid phase custom peptide synthesis. The quality of commercial (4-methyl)benzhydrylamine-resin (MBHA-resin), used for the synthesis of peptide amides, is not consistent and residual ketone functionalities are frequently present. Such ketone or aldehyde impurities lead to the formation of acylation-resistant deletion peptides... [Show full abstract

Benzotriazole-based coupling reagents have dominated the last two decades of solid phase custom peptide synthesis. However, a growing interest in synthesizing complex peptides has stimulated the search for more efficient and low-cost coupling reagents, such as COMU which has been introduced as a nonexplosive alternative to the classic benzotriazole coupling reagents. Here, we present a comparative study of the coupling efficiency of COMU with the benzotriazole-based HBTU and HCTU for use in in situ neutralization Boc-SPPS. Difficult sequences, such as ACP(65-74), Jung-Redeman 10-mer, and HIV-1 PR(81-99), were used as model target peptides on polystyrene-based resins, as well as polyethylene glycol-based resins.

 Coupling yields obtained using fast in situ Boc-SPPS cycles were determined with the quantitative ninhydrin test as well as via LC-MS analysis of the crude cleavage products. Our results demonstrate that COMU coupling efficiency was less effective compared to HBTU and HCTU with HCTU?≥?HBTU?>?COMU, when polystyrene-based resins were employed. However, when the PEG resin was employed in combination with a safety catch amide (SCAL) linker, more comparable yields were observed for the three coupling reagents with the same ranking HCTU?≥?HBTU?>?COMU.

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