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I am an immunology master student without prior knowledge of biochemistry.

Could someone explain to me the following 6 reactions?

What I want to understand is why exactly the reactions happen at this site ( in terms of donor/acceptor ). What is the donor, what is the acceptor?

protein modifications1 protein modifications2

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  • $\begingroup$ In all cases the electron donor is the heteroatom of the protein... Maybe you might want to look at nucleophilic substitution. $\endgroup$
    – tschoppi
    Jan 10 '14 at 14:21
  • $\begingroup$ In my opinion are to many reactions I think nobody could fully explain them all in one answer maybe you should make for every one a question with the reaction name in the title so is more useful for other people who might search for the same problem... $\endgroup$
    – G M
    Jan 10 '14 at 21:08
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All reactions you gave are typically used in protein labelling, e.g. with fluorescent probes.

In order to allow further measurements on the labeled protein, the following conditions have to be met:

The bonds formed have to be stable like the peptide bonds in your protein. You don't want the probe flying around somewhere.

Proteins tend to be a bit sensitive to degradation; boiling in acetic acid is obviously not an option to run the labeling. As a consequence, the functional group to be attached needs to be activated, e.g. with good a leaving group, to allow the labelling of the protein under mild conditions. The succimidyl ester in the first reaction is a good example.

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1) Good leaving group for displacement.
2) Cf: polyurethanes and truck bed liner (polyureas).
3) Nucleophile conjugate addition.
4) Good leaving group for displacement.
5) Good leaving group for displacement.
6) Schiff base formation.

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