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Assays & screens

Polymerized antibody-tagged magnetic beads for isolation of circulating tumor cells (CTCs)

Magnetic beads tagged with polymerized antibodies or antibody-like molecules could help capture CTCs for cancer research purposes. A method of forming isopeptide bonds between peptide-tagged proteins enabled synthesis of polymeric chains of antibody-like molecules targeting epidermal growth factor receptor 1 (EGFR1; HER1; ErbB1) or HER2 (EGFR2; ErbB2; neu). In cultures of human breast cancer cell lines expressing HER1 or in blood samples spiked with HER2+ breast cancer cells, magnetic beads tagged with the polymerized antibody-like molecules captured cells better than magnetic beads tagged with monomeric antibody-like molecules. Planned work includes using the technology to capture CTCs from patients with breast cancer enrolled in a clinical trial of an undisclosed antiangiogenic therapy.

SciBX 7(14); doi:10.1038/scibx.2014.409
Published online April 10, 2014

Patent application filed by University of Oxford for method of isopeptide bond formation; available for licensing

Fierer, J.O. et al. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA; published online March 17, 2014;
Contact: Mark Howarth, University of Oxford, Oxford, U.K.