PEGS Boston 2021 Recap Series
Dreaming about the integration between our Next Generation Protein Sequencing Platform and de novo Protein Design
At the 17th PEGS Boston conference held virtually last week, hundreds of speakers from both academia and industry worldwide shared their latest research and developments in the field of protein engineering and cell therapy.
Rapid Novor was honoured to have our Director for International Business Development, Anthony Stajduhar, talk about the recent breakthrough our team made on polyclonal antibody sequencing, entitled “Landing on the Moon with Mass Spectrometry: Polyclonal Sequencing with Only Proteomics.” During the discussion we received many interesting questions and gained valuable insights from listeners. And what a great opportunity to build global connections and collaborations!
Meanwhile, by checking out all the talks we looked forward to and more, we were absolutely amazed by how much incredible progress the scientific community has collectively made within the past years in biotherapeutics drug research and development. Over the next few days, we will highlight some of the talks we attended, and discuss how our next protein sequencing platform could enhance the research advancements we witnessed.
As one of the keynote speakers at this year’s PEGS, Dr. Baker shared his team’s recent work on the de novo protein design against COVID-19 regarding the antivirals, diagnostic, and vaccines aspects. Notably, Baker with his collaborators have designed a series of mini proteins that can block viral infection by targeting the SARS-CoV-2 receptor binding domain. These proteins are being tested in animal models, with the goal of using the proteins in nasal sprays to protect people from future exposure to the virus.
Dr. Baker also talked about the design of protein biosensors as diagnostic tools for SARS-CoV-2. This multi-state system consists of two protein components: a ‘cage’ that can open and close upon binding to the target, and a ‘key’ that binds to the open cage and emits luciferase signals. This delicate design gives the sensor great flexibility to detect a range of molecules and proteins by simply grafting binders of interest into the ‘cage’. They have successfully tested the performance of this sensor platform for the detection of SARS-CoV-2 spike protein and anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies.
Another astonishing breakthrough the Baker’s team has recently made is the design of antibody nanocages, for which they developed a computational approach to design proteins that can position and assemble antibodies into large symmetric architectures like cages. The nanocages, containing 2, 6, 12, or even 30 antibodies, are shown to have enhanced effects in particular antibody-dependent signalings compared with free antibodies. The nanocages developed by the Baker’s team show great promise in augmenting antibody therapeutics. Furthermore, they have the potential to be used for further exploration of the natural antibody repertoire to bring a wider range of applications in biology and medicine.
Next Generation Protein Sequencing and de novo protein design
Rapid Novor has been dedicated to antibody repertoire sequencing for years and developed REpAb® that combines genomics and proteomics to thoroughly explore and identify antibody repertoire in response to a particular antigen or disease. We believe as more native antibodies are discovered by REpAb®, the newly gained knowledge will empower progress in many scientific researches like de novo protein design.
Next in the PEGS Boston 2021 Recap Series…
Stay tuned, we’ll be talking about Decoding the Immune Response next. Sign up for our Rapid Insights to get a recap of the whole series.