"Kinases play such a central role in the how body regulates itself and they affect so many different human diseases that they were a logical place to start," said LaBaer. "But obviously, what excites us the most is that we can apply this approach to any protein that is important to human health. Our lab has a gene collection capable of producing 13,000 of the 20,000 proteins found in humans, so we have a lot of opportunity."
Their ambitious goal by the end of the funding period is to manufacture more than 4,000 new affinity reagents candidates to target against these 100 human kinases, opening up entirely new vistas for cancer research.
"Once this platform is developed, we hope to have demonstrated and validated the versatility of these new reagents and make them available to the greater scientific community and industrial collaborators to advance biomedical research," said Chaput. "We will have the ability to generate affinity reagents for any protein of interest."
The Missing LINC
At the heart of DNA synbody technology lays the ability to imagine entirely new uses for the twisting ladder of the DNA helix.
Chaput refers to DNA synbody assembly technology by a short acronym: ligand interactions by nucleotide conjugates (LINC). This patented technology uses DNA as a programmable scaffold dotted with pairs of peptides around the helix.
"We construct these molecules in a single-pot reaction," said Chaput. "Our DNA synbodies are unique reagents that use a short DNA backbone to support a pair of specific peptides at defined spacing and angular rotation."
Starting with a vast, peptide library of more than 1 trillion candidates for each protein target, Chaput q
|Contact: Joe Caspermeyer|
Arizona State University