A mono-specific antibody may recruit a second antigen binding specificity, thus converting to a dual-specific Two-in-One antibody through mutation at the light chain complementarity-determining regions (CDRs). It is, however, unknown whether mutation at the heavy chain CDRs may evolve such dual specificity. Herein, we examined the CDRs of a humanized interleukin 4 (IL4) antibody using alanine scanning and structural modeling, designed libraries of mutants in regions that tolerate mutation, and isolated dual specific antibodies harboring mutation at the heavy chain CDRs only. We then affinity improved an IL4/IL5 dual specific antibody to variants with dissociation constants in the low nanomolar range for both antigens. The results demonstrate the full capacity of antibodies to evolve dual binding specificity.
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Longitudinal analyses of single cell lineages over prolonged periods have been challenging particularly in processes characterized by high cell turn-over such as inflammation, proliferation, or cancer. RGB marking has emerged as an elegant approach for enabling such investigations. However, methods for automated image analysis continue to be lacking. Here, to address this, we created a number of different multicolored poly- and monoclonal cancer cell lines for in vitro and in vivo use. To classify these cells in large scale data sets, we subsequently developed and tested an automated algorithm based on hue selection. Our results showed that this method allows accurate analyses at a fraction of the computational time required by more complex color classification methods. Moreover, the methodology should be broadly applicable to both in vitro and in vivo analyses.
The type II CRISPR/Cas9 system (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats/CRISPR-associated) has recently emerged as an efficient and simple tool for site-specific engineering of eukaryotic genomes. To improve its applications in Drosophila genome engineering, we simplified the standard two-component CRISPR/Cas9 system by generating a stable transgenic fly line expressing the Cas9 endonuclease in the germline (Vasa-Cas9 line). By injecting vectors expressing engineered target-specific guide RNAs into Vasa-Cas9 fly embryos, mutations were generated from site-specific DNA cleavages and efficiently transmitted into progenies. Because Cas9 endonuclease is the universal component of the type II CRISPR/Cas9 system, site-specific genomic engineering based on this improved platform can be achieved with lower complexity and toxicity, greater consistency, and excellent versatility.
Chromatin is dynamically changing its structure to accommodate and control DNA-dependent processes inside of eukaryotic cells. These changes are necessarily linked to changes of DNA topology, which might itself serve as a regulatory signal to be detected by proteins. Thus, DNA Topoisomerases may contribute to the regulation of many events occurring during the transcription cycle. In this review we will focus on DNA Topoisomerase functions in transcription, with particular emphasis on the multiplicity of tasks beyond their widely appreciated role in solving topological problems associated with transcription elongation.
The existence of a barrier between the central nervous system (CNS) and the systemic circulation has been described over one hundred years ago. Since the discovery that this barrier was instigated by the barrier properties of the brain endothelial cells, research has focused on the identification of pathways how the brain endothelial cells are instructed to form the highly specialized blood-brain barrier (BBB). Even though our current understanding of BBB development is far from complete, recent literature shows a rise in knowledge of CNS-specific cues that can drive BBB development.
In this commentary, we will provide a brief overview of brain selective factors that are critical in the development of barrier properties in the brain endothelium; in particular the role of retinoic acid will be discussed.
While islet transplantation is considered a useful therapeutic option for severe diabetes mellitus (DM), the outcome of this treatment remains unsatisfactory. This is largely due to the damage and loss of islets in the early transplant stage. Thus, it is important to monitor the condition of the transplanted islets, so that a treatment can be selected to rescue the islets from damage if needed. Recently, numerous trials have been performed to investigate the efficacy of different imaging modalities for visualizing transplanted islets. Positron emission tomography (PET) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) are the most commonly used imaging modalities for this purpose. Some groups, including ours, have also tried to visualize transplanted islets by ultrasonography (US). In this review article, we discuss the recent progress in islet imaging.
The rapid global development of agricultural production systems using seeds derived from genetic modification (GM) has been paralleled by the growth of attempts to keep at least a part of the world’s agriculture and food as free from GM-crops and their products as possible. The ideal for some proponents of such “GM-free” activity would be a total absence, usually styled “zero content”; others, perhaps more realistically, opt for a definition usually not precisely defined that allows for minimal trace levels of GM material. The reasons for wanting “GM-free” agriculture and its products are varied; they include philosophical and religious beliefs, concern for human (and animal) health—and for “the environment”—as well as commercial and political interests. With such a variety of motivations, and in the absence of legal rulings, the definitions of “GM-free” vary according to inclination and circumstances. Whatever the precise meaning, the maintenance of a “GM-free” product stream in a world where GM crop production is widespread requires the establishment of identity preservation and segregation systems in which traceability and testing are cornerstones. Inevitably these have cost implications for the supply chain and/or the ultimate consumer. In a number of countries different forms of “GM-free” labels exist for some products; the style of such labels is variable with schemes and labels typically voluntary or privately organized. In more recent years, some governments have begun to regularize the definition and meaning of “GM-free.” We conclude our analysis by exploring consumer reactions both to “GM-free” and to “GM-free” labels, and ask who ultimately benefits from preserving a product stream substantially or entirely devoid of GM-content.