Optogenetic activation of intracellular antibodies for direct modulation of endogenous proteins

Journal: Nature Methods

Published: 2019-10-14

DOI: 10.1038/s41592-019-0592-7

Affiliations: 5

Authors: 8

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Research Highlight

Turning antibodies on using light

© SCIEPRO/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY/Getty

© SCIEPRO/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY/Getty

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.

Supported content

  1. Nature Methods 16, 1095–1100 (2019). doi: 10.1038/s41592-019-0592-7
Institutions Share
KAIST Department of Biological Sciences, South Korea 0.60
Center for Cognition and Sociality (CCS), IBS, South Korea 0.17
KAIST Institute for the BioCentury (KIB), South Korea 0.10
KAIST Department of Physics, South Korea 0.06
Stanford Department of Applied Physics, United States of America (USA) 0.06

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