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Dehydroalanine has emerged in recent years as a non-proteinogenic residue with strong chemical utility in proteins for the study of biology. In this review we cover the several methods now available for its flexible and site-selective incorporation via a variety of complementary chemical and biological techniques and examine its reactivity, allowing both creation of modified protein side-chains through a variety of bond-forming methods (C-S, C-N, C-Se, C-C) and as an activity-based probe in its own right. We illustrate its utility with selected examples of biological and technological discovery and application.

Original publication




Journal article


Curr Opin Chem Biol

Publication Date





71 - 81


Alanine, Animals, Biocatalysis, Chemistry Techniques, Synthetic, Humans, Models, Molecular, Protein Processing, Post-Translational, Proteins