Author(s): Lo AS, Zhu Q, Marasco WA
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Abstract Combining exquisite specificity and high antigen-binding affinity, intrabodies have been used as a biotechnological tool to interrupt, modulate, or define the functions of a wide range of target antigens at the posttranslational level. An intrabody is an antibody that has been designed to be expressed intracellularly and can be directed to a specific target antigen present in various subcellular locations including the cytosol, nucleus, endoplasmic reticulum (ER), mitochondria, peroxisomes, plasma membrane and trans-Golgi network (TGN) through in frame fusion with intracellular trafficking/localization peptide sequences. Although intrabodies can be expressed in different forms, the most commonly used format is a singlechain antibody (scFv Ab) created by joining the antigen-binding variable domains of heavy and light chain with an interchain linker (ICL), most often the 15 amino acid linker (GGGGS)(3) between the variable heavy (VH) and variable light (VL) chains. Intrabodies have been used in research of cancer, HIV, autoimmune disease, neurodegenerative disease, and transplantation. Clinical application of intrabodies has mainly been hindered by the availability of robust gene delivery system(s) including target cell directed gene delivery. This review will discuss several methods of intrabody selection, different strategies of cellular targeting, and recent successful examples of intrabody applications. Taking advantage of the high specificity and affinity of an antibody for its antigen, and of the virtually unlimited diversity of antigen-binding variable domains available for molecular targeting, intrabody techniques are emerging as promising tools to generate phenotypic knockouts, to manipulate biological processes, and to obtain a more thorough understanding of functional genomics.
This article was published in Handb Exp Pharmacol
and referenced in Journal of Cell Science & Therapy