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Genetically Encoded Frankenbody Lights Up Live Cell Imaging

July 05, 2019 / Genengnews

Stitching together complementarity-determining regions CDRs and single-chain variable fragment scFv scaffolds, scientists based at Colorado State University and Tokyo Institute of Technology have built what they call a frankenbody. This hybrid creation can bind a common epitope tag, the linear HA epitope tag. Most notably, it works in living systems, where it can add distinctive labels to diverse proteins. In a recent study, it enabled the multicolor visualization of HA-tagged nuclear, cytoplasmic, membrane, and mitochondrial proteins. For many decades, scientists have cleverly exploited the selective tagging of natural antibodies to engineer antibody-based probes that can be used to purify and study different types of proteins within cells. One tried and true technique, epitope tagging, involves fusing an epitope to a protein of interest and using fluorescently labeled antibodies to make those proteins visible—but seldom in fixed, dead cells. Now, a new approach has been develop...