Scientists from Genentech (South San Francisco, Calif) have discovered a variant of an engineered antibody that can bind 2 proteins involved in cancer.
The researchers isolated a variant of the monoclonal antibody biologic trastuzumab, which binds to the human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2); this variant also can bind vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) (Bostrum J et al. Science. 2009;323:1610-1614). The scientists visualized the structure of this 2-protein–binding variant using x-ray crystallography. Additionally, they found that a trastuzumab variant with high affinity for both HER2 and VEGF can inhibit cell proliferation mediated by these 2 proteins in a human cell line and inhibit tumor progression mediated by these proteins in a mouse model.
Kuehn BM. Dual-Binding Antibody. JAMA. 2009;301(17):1758. doi:10.1001/jama.2009.568