Prantner, A. M., Turini, M., Kerfelec, B., Joshi, S., Baty, D., Chames, P., & Scholler, N. (2015). Anti-mesothelin nanobodies for both conventional and nanoparticle-based biomedical applications. Journal of Biomedical Nanotechnology, 11(7), 1201-1212.
Mesothelin, a cancer biomarker overexpressed in tumors of epithelial origin, is a target for nanotechnology-based diagnostic, therapeutic, and prognostic applications. The currently available anti-mesothelin antibodies present limitations, including low penetration due to large size and/or lack of in vivo stability. Single domain antibodies (sdAbs) or nanobodies (Nbs) provide powerful solutions to these specific problems. We generated a phage-display library of Nbs that were amplified from B cells of a llama that was immunized with human recombinant mesothelin. Two nanobodies (Nb A1 and Nb C6) were selected on the basis of affinity (K D = 15 and 30 nM, respectively). Nb A1 was further modified by adding either a cysteine to permit maleimide-based bioconjugations or a sequence for the site-specific metabolic addition of a biotin in vivo. Both systems of conjugation (thiol-maleimide and streptavidin/biotin) were used to characterize and validate Nb A1 and to functionalize nanoparticles. We showed that anti-mesothelin Nb A1 could detect native and denatured mesothelin in various diagnostic applications, including flow cytometry, western blotting, immunofluorescence, and optical imaging. In conclusion, anti-mesothelin Nbs are novel, cost-effective, small, and single domain reagents with high affinity and specificity for the tumor-associated antigen mesothelin, which can be simply bioengineered for attachment to nanoparticles or modified surfaces using multiple bioconjugation strategies. These anti-mesothelin Nbs can be useful in both conventional and nanotechnology-based diagnostic, therapeutic and prognostic biomedical applications.