There are many ways to label peptides with tritium. The most prominent examples are shown in the scheme below. The four amino acids commonly used as precursors for the tritium labeling of peptides are 4-iodo-L-phenylalanine, 3,5-diiodo-L-tyrosine, 3,4-dehydro-L-proline and 4,5-dehydro-L-leucine. These unnatural amino acids are replacing the corresponding amino acids in your sequence to get the precursor for the tritium labeling. The iodinated amino acids are labeled by I/T exchange to yield the single or double labeled amino acid. The unsaturated amino acids are hydrogenated with tritium gas in presence of a catalyst leading to a twofold labeled amino acid. In these cases, the allylic positions can additionally undergo an H/T exchange leading to even higher specific activities. In summary, double bond saturation or I/T exchange yields products with suitable high specific activities (ranging from approx. 15 - 100 Ci/mmol; 0.55 – 3.7 TBq/mmol).
A further approach for peptide labeling is the use of Direct Catalytic H/T Exchange. This method does not require a precursor, but specific activities are not predictable unless H/D studies were performed and they might end up to be low. Nevertheless, keep in mind that suitable specific activity is depending on the application of the peptide and as well on the economic feasibility. Just contact us and we will find the most appropriate and efficient way to label your peptide.