Site‐specific encoding of photoactivity in antibodies enables light‐mediated antibody‐antigen binding on live cells

Thomas Bridge, Saher A. Shaikh, Paul Thomas, Joaquin Botta, Peter J. McCormick, Amit Sachdeva

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Antibodies have found applications in several fields, including, medicine, diagnostics, and nanotechnology, yet methods to modulate antibody‐antigen binding using an external agent remain limited. Here, we have developed photoactive antibody fragments by genetic site‐specific replacement of single tyrosine residues with photocaged tyrosine, in an antibody fragment, 7D12. A simple and robust assay is adopted to evaluate the light‐mediated binding of 7D12 mutants to its target, epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), on the surface of cancer cells. Presence of photocaged tyrosine reduces 7D12‐EGFR binding affinity by over 20‐fold in two out of three 7D12 mutants studied, and binding is restored upon exposure to 365 nm light. Molecular dynamics simulations explain the difference in effect of photocaging on 7D12‐EGFR interaction among the mutants. Finally, we demonstrate the application of photoactive antibodies in delivering fluorophores to EGFR‐positive live cancer cells in a light‐dependent manner.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)17986-17993
Number of pages7
JournalAngewandte Chemie
Issue number50
Early online date14 Oct 2019
Publication statusPublished - 9 Dec 2019

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