Protein Engineering Applied to Biomedical Applications

Pluecki5

One of the goals of the engineering efforts in the lab is the design of superior proteins for therapy, predominantly for tumor targeting. Both recombinant antibodies and Designed Ankyrin Repeat Proteins (DARPins) are being used for this purpose.

What are the components of such work? The focus is on novel molecular formats, combining a targeting function with an effector function. Using meticulous biophysical characterization of new fusion proteins, testing them in cell culture and measuring biodistribution and efficacy in animal models, we are systematically studying the interdependencies of affinity, valency, size, stability and effector engineering on in vivo efficacy. The goal of this work is to engineer such proteins rationally, with a clear understanding of the desired properties.

Having access to state-of-the-art modeling and directed evolution, we are not limited to simply making fusion proteins from available natural components but can significantly improve the properties of the constituent modules.