Boom goes the peptide!
For some light bedtime reading, I chose Life Technologies' Molecular Probes handbook, a 1,000-page opus of how to make anything and everything biological light up in brilliant hues of Texas Red or Cascade Blue. Flipping to Chapter 1, I quickly glanced at the very first scheme in the entire catalog, and did a double-take: tyrosine nitration...by tetranitromethane!
|TNM: First time's the charm!|
Source: Molecular Probes Handbook
"Rule of Six" violation? Check. Potentially explosive byproducts? Check Check. A brief glance at the MSDS shows some of the more exciting Hazard Codes ("H330 - Fatal if Inhaled"), and the Merck Index (#9305) ain't much better: TNM "attacks iron, copper, brass, and rubber" and "Has been proposed as [an] irritant war gas."
But, lest I lapse into my own fit of hypocritical chemophobia, I should point out that this compound is apparently 'par for the course' for stalwart chemical biologists - it's been used since the 1920s to label proteins, and a 1966 JACS article dubs it "stable, specific, and gentle." Even PubMed brings up >600 references, so I suppose my initial gut-check was a bit unwarranted - TNM looks OK when used in dilute solutions. But, I'd still say you should think twice before considering it for routine bench work.