Targeting Colorectal Cancer Cell Lines Using Nanobodies; AgSK1as a Potential Target

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Department of Biology, Faculty of Basic Science, Shahed University, Tehran, Iran

2 Department of Medical Biotechnology, School of Advanced Medical Sciences and Technologies, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran.



Background: Colorectal cancer is the third most common type of aggressive cancers. Chemotherapy, surgery,
and radiotherapy are the common therapeutic options for treating this cancer. Due to the adverse side-eff ects of these methods, immunotherapy is considered as an appropriate alternative therapeutic option. Treatment through the application of monoclonal antibodies is considered as a novel alternative therapeutic method for cancers. The variable fragments of the antibodies’ heavy chain or VHHs have a wide application in molecular biology and biotechnology. VHHs are compatible with the phage display technology which allows rapid and high throughput screening for antibodies isolation.
Objectives: We aimed to use naive VHH phage library to isolate a specifi c nanobody against colorectal tumor
associated antigen; the AgSK1.
Materials and Methods: In this research, naive VHH phage library was panned against two colorectal cell lines;
Ls174T and HT29 expressing diff erent levels of AgSK1 tumor associated marker. The high affi nity binders were selected and subcloned for higher expression levels of the VHH. The affi nity and specifi city of the isolated VHH were tested using ELISA. The reactivity of the VHH toward cancer cells was analyzed by competitive ELISA applying sera isolated from colorectal cancer patients.
Results: Results show that the isolated VHH recognizes and binds to the colorectal cancer cells with a high
affi nity. Moreover, the isolated nanobody is able to compete with the antibodies in the patient sera for the binding to the cancer cells.
Conclusions: Results suggest that this nanobody has a specifi c reaction toward colorectal cells and can be used for further investigation on the tumor associated antigens or production of mimotopes useful for immunotherapy.


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