Collect. Czech. Chem. Commun. 1989, 54, 2027-2041

Peptide synthesis catalyzed by native proteinase K in water-miscible organic solvents with low water content

Václav Čeřovský and Karel Martinek

Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry, Czechoslovak Academy of Sciences, 166 10 Prague 6


Reaction of Ac-Tyr-OEt with HBr.Gly-NH2, catalyzed by free proteinase K in various water-miscible organic solvents in the presence of triethylamine and 5 vol.% of water, was studied. Some aliphatic alcohols and acetonitrile proved to be suitable solvents. The effect of water content (2%-20%) on the synthesis of Ac-Tyr-Gly-NH2 was studied using acetonitrile as solvent. Lowering of the water content to 5% or 2% led to almost 100% yield of the desired dipeptide; higher water content accelerated the reaction, reducing at the same time the yield of Ac-Tyr-Gly-NH2 due to the concurrent hydrolysis of the ester Ac-Tyr-OEt. No reaction was observed in the absence of base (triethylamine), whereas an excess of base only retarded the reaction. The enzyme is capable of catalyzing the peptide bond synthesis with N-acylamino acids or N-acyl peptides as acylating components, which may contain all types of L-amino acid residues (except Pro) in the P1 position. However, the peptide bond synthesis depends strongly on the amino component composition, particularly on the amino acid residue in the P'1 position. Only amides of glycine and of hydrophilic amino acids were acylated with Ac-Tyr-OEt; amides of hydrophobic amino acids enter the reaction only reluctantly or not at all. The presence of Leu or Phe in position P'2 and Leu in position P'3 has not so negative effect on acylation of the amino component as has its presence in the P'1 position. The choice of protecting groups for the α-carboxyl of the amino component is restricted only to amide and in some cases its undesired enzymatic removal was observed. Unprotected peptides seem to be suitable amino components.