Immune antibodies are activated when antigens like germs or viruses invade our bodies. Now a team of Korean scientists has developed the world’s first optogenetic tool to regulate antibody activities. This study is expected to lead to innovative treatments that boost efficacy and reduce side effects
These are cancer cells seen under a microscope. When they are illuminated, immune antibodies are activated and attached to antigens. This slows down the growth of cancer cells and stops metastasis. When immune antibodies in other cells are illuminated, the antibodies get affixed to the antigens and render them powerless in just a minute of two. A team of scientists from the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology developed the world’s first optogenetic tool to activate intercellular antibodies and suppress antigen activities. The key to this technology is using blue light to activate non-active, split antibodies.
[Soundbite] YU DASEULI(DOCTORATE CANDIDATE, KAIST) : “We attached protein that reacts to blue light to antibodies so that the antibodies can be activated and attached to antigens.”
When this tool is applied to disease treatments, it is possible to more precisely regulate the treatment, to reduce hair loss, vomiting and other side effects of cancer treatments. Side effects are produced when medicine penetrates areas other than the target body parts.
[Soundbite] PROF. HEO WON-DO(KAIST) : “It can activate antibodies at select areas for the duration we desire. Through this method we can reduce side effects and maximize efficacy.”