Antibodies Were Turned into Highly Tuned Nanobodies by New Technology
Antibodies, one of the most useful tools in biology and medicine, play an important role in recognizing and homing in on molecular targets. Nanobodies, the tiny cousins of antibodies, can do the same work. And because of their simplicity, Nanobodies are comparatively easier to produce. Unluckily, both of their promise have not been comprehensively utilized, for the scientist lack an efficient way to identify the nanobodies most closely tuned to their targets. If this come true, it would save a lot of time and money. So, scientists have been racing to figure out a better way.
A recent study seems to give new hope to it. Scientists in this study found a new system that, according to them, can make nanobodies dramatically more accessible for all kinds of researches. In their first studies, this scientific team generated high-affinity antibodies and directed against two fluorescent proteins that biologists often used as markers to visualize activity within cells: GEP and mCherry. Their new system was first applied into an animal--llamas. Then, by using a technique called mass spectrometry, they determined partial sequences of the amino acids that made up the protein of the nanobodies.
As a result, their procedure generated 25 types of nanobodies that are capable of precisely targeting GFP and six for mCherry. This is a far more diverse set of high affinity nanobodies than that with conventional techniques.
This abundance gives scientists more options. They can choose the best ones. “given that we can now readily identify suites of high affinity nanobodies, the future for them as research tools, diagnostics and therapeutics looks bright.” said one of the scientists in the team.