Infographic: Mix and Match
Infographic: Mix and Match

Infographic: Mix and Match

How llamas and superglue might lead to antiviral therapies

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Ruth Williams

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Jul 13, 2020

To make multimeric antibody complexes to fight a pathogen, llamas are inoculated with a virus of interest (1). Researchers collect DNA from antibody-making cells in the llama’s blood and amplify it to produce single-domain antibodies (sdAbs) (2). This collection of sdAbs is screened to find those with a strong virus-binding ability (3), and those antibodies are then tagged with bacterial superglue peptides (superglues are peptide-protein partners that form irreversible bonds) (4). By mixing the glue-tagged sdAbs with scaffolds containing the glue partner proteins, researchers can combine their desired sdAbs into multimers (5), and then screen them to find the ones that best neutralize the virus (6).

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