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Keywords:

  • click chemistry;
  • fluorescent probes;
  • lipoic acid ligase;
  • metabolic labeling;
  • protein engineering
Thumbnail image of graphical abstract

Bring your own copper: Copper-chelating azides undergo much faster click reactions (CuAAC) than nonchelating azides under a variety of biocompatible conditions. This kinetic enhancement allows site-specific protein labeling to be performed on the surface of living cells with only 10–40 μM CuI/CuII (see scheme). Detection sensitivity was also increased for CuAAC detection of alkyne-modified proteins and RNA.