In the past decade, various single-domain antibodies from llamas, also known as VHH or nanobody, have been discovered with applications in tumor imaging and cancer therapy. However, the potential application of anti-HER2 VHHs as a diagnostic tool suitable for ELISA, flow cytometry, cell imaging, bispecific antibody engineering, and immunohistochemistry has not been fully elucidated. To investigate this potential, HER2 antigen was expressed in HEK293 F cells, purified, and used to immunize llama. Using phage display, anti-HER2 VHHs with high affinity and specificity were isolated, sequenced, and constructed with a Histag and c-Myc tag. The constructed anti-HER2 VHHs were then expressed in E. coli, purified, and evaluated for their use in ELISA, flow cytometry, cell imaging, and immunohistochemistry. The affinities of the anti-HER2 VHHs toward the HER2 antigen were determined using biolayer interferometry. Furthermore, the binding sites of the anti-HER2 VHHs were evaluated by epitope mapping and in silico modeling and docking. Here, we report the sequence of an anti-HER2 VHH with high affinity (sub-nanomolar), specificity, and selectivity. This VHH binds to the same epitope as trastuzumab and can be utilized to generate bispecific antibodies or used as a diagnostic tool to differentiate HER2+ from HER2- antigens on plates, cells, and tissues. This discovery has broad applications in biochemical, biological, and medical sciences.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cancer phenotyping
- Single-domain antibody