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Biochemistry. 2007 Nov 6;46(44):12656-64. Epub 2007 Oct 12.

Fibronectin type III domain based monobody with high avidity.

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School of Pharmacy and Carolina Center for Genome Sciences, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, North Carolina 27599, USA.


Significant efforts have been made to improve the target-binding strength of numerous affinity molecules that are widely used in biomedical research and clinical applications. While many antibody-like fragments have been successfully optimized through affinity maturation, the process is time-consuming and restricted by the stability, solubility, and expression level of the protein sequences. To generate a fibronectin type III domain (FN3) based monobody that binds to the tumor-related biomarkers with exceptional high strength and stability, we developed a multivalent strategy by fusing an alphavbeta3-binding FN3 monobody with a short COMP pentamerization domain through a linker that facilitates appropriate display of multivalent FN3 domains. The fusion protein was highly expressed in the soluble fraction of Escherichia coli and efficiently self-assembled into a pentameric molecule that could be readily purified. Compared to the monomeric form, the pentameric monobody bound to alphavbeta3 integrin much more tightly with significantly slower off-rate, while still maintaining its excellent specificity toward alphavbeta3 when tested by using purified integrins and integrin-expressing cell lines. The multivalent strategy we describe here could be applied to engineer other FN3 monobodies to acquire significantly improved targeting-binding strengths.

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