Nanobody-Based Probes for Subcellular Protein Identification and Visualization

Marit A de Beer, Ben N G Giepmans*

*Bijbehorende auteur voor dit werk

Onderzoeksoutput: Review articlepeer review

27 Citaten (Scopus)
78 Downloads (Pure)


Understanding how building blocks of life contribute to physiology is greatly aided by protein identification and cellular localization. The two main labeling approaches developed over the past decades are labeling with antibodies such as immunoglobulin G (IgGs) or use of genetically encoded tags such as fluorescent proteins. However, IgGs are large proteins (150 kDa), which limits penetration depth and uncertainty of target position caused by up to ∼25 nm distance of the label created by the chosen targeting approach. Additionally, IgGs cannot be easily recombinantly modulated and engineered as part of fusion proteins because they consist of multiple independent translated chains. In the last decade single domain antigen binding proteins are being explored in bioscience as a tool in revealing molecular identity and localization to overcome limitations by IgGs. These nanobodies have several potential benefits over routine applications. Because of their small size (15 kDa), nanobodies better penetrate during labeling procedures and improve resolution. Moreover, nanobodies cDNA can easily be fused with other cDNA. Multidomain proteins can thus be easily engineered consisting of domains for targeting (nanobodies) and visualization by fluorescence microscopy (fluorescent proteins) or electron microscopy (based on certain enzymes). Additional modules for e.g., purification are also easily added. These nanobody-based probes can be applied in cells for live-cell endogenous protein detection or may be purified prior to use on molecules, cells or tissues. Here, we present the current state of nanobody-based probes and their implementation in microscopy, including pitfalls and potential future opportunities.

Originele taal-2English
Aantal pagina's16
TijdschriftFrontiers in cellular neuroscience
StatusPublished - nov.-2020

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