Scientists Develop New Method to Engineer Multi-Antibody-Like Nanostructures

Nanotech

A research team from Aarhus University in Denmark developed a novel way to engineer large nanostructures similar to multi-antibodies using DNA nanotechnology / Photo by: Heelgrasper via Wikimedia Commons

 

A research team from Aarhus University in Denmark developed a novel way to engineer large nanostructures similar to multi-antibodies using DNA nanotechnology, demonstrating the possibility of assembling multiple proteins and other materials to improve the properties of traditional therapies.

The development is a step toward the goal of Aarhus University's Novo Nordisk and the Faculty of Science and Technology, which seeks further enhancement of excellent research within the protein and peptide-based drug development.

In the new method, Science Daily said DNA nanotechnology is employed to integrate protein function, as well as DNA structures, wherein nucleic acids (building blocks of the DNA) served as biological engineering materials instead of carriers of genetic information in living cells.

"Connecting proteins to DNA structures adds complex functionalities, which can provide the structures with the ability to act as drugs, extend the lifespan of the molecules, or direct the structures toward specific molecules," the scientific news site explained.

The researchers also showed the development of a novel method for linking a piece of DNA to a certain spot on Immunoglobulin Gs (IgGs). IgGs are the most common antibodies found in the human bloodstream.

A peptide (a small piece of protein) directs the connection (labeling), coupled with affinity to a certain spot on the antibody that puts a single piece of double string of DNA into place. The peptide and the half of the DNA double-string are easily removed later on, leaving only a single string of DNA chemically stuck on the antibody.

According to Science Daily, this allows the possibility for the connection of the DNA-antibody conjugate with structures equipped with a complementary DNA string.

"The DNA-conjugates have been exploited in forming an IgM-like nanostructure, which is a large, star-like pentameric DNA nanostructure made by assembling five DNA-antibody conjugates," it added.

The method was performed in the framework of the Center for Multifunctional Biomolecular Drug Design, which began in 2018 under the Novo Nordisk Foundation Challenge Program.