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Tremendous strides
through tiny tools

The nanobody toolbox

Tremendous strides
through tiny tools

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Camelids, including llamas and alpacas, are endowed with a unique immune system that encompasses heavy chain only antibodies, in addition to regular 4-chain antibodies. VHHs or nanobodies as they are called, correspond with the antigen binding part of heavy chain antibodies. They are only 15 kDa in size, 10x smaller than a conventional antibody. Camelid nanobodies are a powerful research tool to study protein function in nearly every biological background: in vitro, in cells or in organisms.

Hidde Ploeghs’ more recent (June 2019) testimonal on nanobody technology in PNAS.

Because their cDNAs are available, Camelid nanobodies are amenable to tailored manipulation and modification, in addition to recombinant production and purification, for a variety of downstream applications. Hence, they are broadly applicable, irrespective of the research domain in which they are used: cancer, inflammation, neurological disorders, amyloid disease, technology development, …

Use of nanobodies in biomedical research may improve reproducibility of scientific findings as reported in literature (1,2). Conflicting data have been noticed with several antibodies, and batch to batch variability is an inherent risk. Nanobodies are encoded by DNA molecules, allowing more straightforward comparison and verification of scientific data.

Some recent studies where nanobodies feature as a core technology:

  1. Che T, Majumdar S, Zaidi SA, Ondachi P, McCorvy JD, et al. 2018. Cell 172: 55-67 e15
  2. Chamma I, Rossier O, Giannone G, Thoumine O, Sainlos M. 2017. Nat Protoc 12: 748-63
  3. Ariotti N, Rae J, Giles N, Martel N, Sierecki E, et al. 2018. PLoS Biol 16: e2005473
  4. Teng KW, Ishitsuka Y, Ren P, Youn Y, Deng X, et al. 2017. Elife 6
  5. Yen HY, Hoi KK, Liko I, Hedger G, Horrell MR, et al. 2018. Nature 559: 423-7

Gulliver Biomed products

Here you can browse available nanobodies which have been thoroughly characterized in terms of target binding, affinity, epitope or functional properties.

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Or you can contemplate generating nanobodies against your antigen of interest.

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We can assist you through the entire process, from (recombinant) antigen to nanobody cDNAs, and beyond. Our staff has a long standing experience in the field.

  1. Bradbury A, Pluckthun A. Reproducibility: Standardize antibodies used in research. Nature. 2015 Feb 05;518(7537):27-9.
  2. Baker M. Reproducibility crisis: Blame it on the antibodies. Nature. 2015 May 21;521(7552):274-6.