Caged Phosphoproteins

We present the chemical and biological synthesis of caged phosphoproteins using the in vitro nonsense codon suppression methodology. Specifically, phosphoamino acid analogues of serine, threonine, and tyrosine with a single photocleavable <i>o</i>-nitrophenylethyl caging group were synthesized as the amino acyl tRNA adducts for insertion into full-length proteins. For this purpose, a novel phosphitylating agent was developed. The successful incorporation of these bulky and charged amino acids into the α-subunit of the nicotinic acetyl choline receptor (nAChR) and the vasodilator-stimulated phosphoprotein (VASP) using an in vitro translation system is reported.