Journal: Nature Methods
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Turning antibodies on using light
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The use of laser light to activate an antibody by inducing its two inactive components to combine could result in new treatments for cancer and autoimmune diseases.
Scientists have been exploring ways to harness the body’s immune system to fight diseases such as cancer. While much progress has been made, there is still a need for ways to precisely control antibodies, which detect threats by latching onto pathogens and tumours.
Now, a Korean team led by KAIST researchers has achieved precision control of an antibody by injecting two branches of its Y-shape and then using blue laser light to cause them to combine, forming an active antibody.
The team demonstrated their technique by using it to inhibit specific endogenous proteins in living cells derived from mouse and human embryos. The antibodies bound to the target proteins and disrupted pathway signalling.
- Nature Methods 16, 1095–1100 (2019). doi: 10.1038/s41592-019-0592-7