Application of the SMALP system to generate antibodies for intact transmembrane proteins

Lead Research Organisation: University of Birmingham
Department Name: Cancer Sciences


The analysis and exploitation of transmembrane proteins has recently become one of the most exciting areas of drug discovery and biological research. About a third of all proteins are found in membranes, their mechanisms are particularly difficult to study as they are often present only in small amounts and are difficult to handle. These proteins are stabilized by their interactions with native lipids but current methods to study them depend on detergents which strip these lipids away. We have developed a novel bionanoparticle to prepare functionally intact proteins directly from native membrane maintaining the local lipid environment and propose to develop antibodies to these targets for therapeutic and research purposes. This new generation of antibodies will allow specific recognition of native protein states with unprecedented accuracy, and will enable development of new diagnostic tests and biotherapeutic agents for treatment of cancer and many infectious and genetic diseases.