SOS Author Spotlight: Lara Malins and Richard Payne

Peptide synthesis explored with a Knowledge Updates chapter on chemoselective ligation.


A recent review for Science of Synthesis by Profs. Lara Malins (Australian National University) and Richard Payne (University of Sydney) has focused on methods for peptide synthesis involving chemoselective ligation. The focus is on recent developments in chemoselective ligation chemistry based on the native chemical ligation (NCL) concept.  Chemoselective ligation strategies, which forge interpeptide amide bonds in aqueous solution by harnessing the mutual reactivity of functionalized peptide precursors, have contributed enormously to the field of peptide and protein science. Native chemical ligation (NCL) leverages the selective reactivity of C-terminal peptide thioesters with N-terminal cysteine peptides. The review can be accessed on eSOS here.


Synthetic strategies that broaden the scope and versatility of the ligation reaction and that have been widely adopted for the preparation of homogeneous peptides and proteins are highlighted, and key experimental protocols are included. This chapter also covers significant approaches for the synthesis of peptides bearing suitable functionalization for use in ligation.


The editor for this contribution was Prof. E. James Petersson (Univ. Pennsylvania, USA). The chapter is an update to the original (2005) Science of Synthesis chapter on Peptides (authors: Lubell, W. D.; Blankenship, J. W.; Fridkin, G.; Kaul, R.; editor: Weinreb, S. M.).



Author Biographies



Lara Malins is an Associate Professor at the Research School of Chemistry at the Australian National University (ANU). She completed her PhD at The University of Sydney and postdoctoral training at the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, California. She returned to Australia in late 2017 to begin her independent career at the ANU, where her group focuses on the development of new synthetic methods for drug discovery, natural product synthesis, and chemical biology.

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Richard J. Payne received his PhD at the University of Cambridge and following this was a Lindemann Postdoctoral Fellow at the Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, California. In 2008, he was recruited to the University of Sydney as a Lecturer of Organic within the School of Chemistry. Since 2015 he has held the position of Professor of Organic Chemistry and Chemical Biology and since 2020 is the Deputy Director of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Innovations in Peptide and Protein Science. A key research area within Prof. Payne’s lab involves the development of new methods to access modified proteins to interrogate important problems in biology and medicine.

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