In organic synthesis, a t-Boc protecting group is a compound that binds to an exposed amine group on amino acids to prevent unwanted polymerization of peptides. The compound t-Boc is di-tert-butyl dicarbonate.
When exposed to a strongly acidic environment, t-Boc is cleaved from the protected amino acid. Neutralization of the acid by a tertiary amine is required before peptide synthesis can continue.
Fmoc is the other protecting group used in peptide synthesis. Fmoc is the preferred protective compound due to its stability in acid coupled with its simple removal via weak bases. It also provides higher quality solid-phase peptides compared to t-Boc. Fmoc stands for 9-fluorenylmethyl carbamate