The investigation of biological processes by chemical methods, commonly referred to as chemical biology, often requires chemical access to biologically relevant macromolecules such as peptides and proteins. Building upon solid-phase peptide synthesis, investigations have focused on the development of chemoselective ligation and modification strategies to link synthetic peptides or other functional units to larger synthetic and biologically relevant macromolecules. This Review summarizes recent developments in the field of chemoselective ligation and modification strategies and illustrates their application, with examples ranging from the total synthesis of proteins to the semisynthesis of naturally modified proteins.
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