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      Nanobodies and recombinant binders in cell biology

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          Abstract

          Antibodies are key reagents to investigate cellular processes. The development of recombinant antibodies and binders derived from natural protein scaffolds has expanded traditional applications, such as immunofluorescence, binding arrays, and immunoprecipitation. In addition, their small size and high stability in ectopic environments have enabled their use in all areas of cell research, including structural biology, advanced microscopy, and intracellular expression. Understanding these novel reagents as genetic modules that can be integrated into cellular pathways opens up a broad experimental spectrum to monitor and manipulate cellular processes.

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          Most cited references 130

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          Crystal Structure of the β2Adrenergic Receptor-Gs protein complex

          G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) are responsible for the majority of cellular responses to hormones and neurotransmitters as well as the senses of sight, olfaction and taste. The paradigm of GPCR signaling is the activation of a heterotrimeric GTP binding protein (G protein) by an agonist-occupied receptor. The β2 adrenergic receptor (β2AR) activation of Gs, the stimulatory G protein for adenylyl cyclase, has long been a model system for GPCR signaling. Here we present the crystal structure of the active state ternary complex composed of agonist-occupied monomeric β2AR and nucleotide-free Gs heterotrimer. The principal interactions between the β2AR and Gs involve the amino and carboxyl terminal α-helices of Gs, with conformational changes propagating to the nucleotide-binding pocket. The largest conformational changes in the β2AR include a 14 Å outward movement at the cytoplasmic end of transmembrane segment 6 (TM6) and an alpha helical extension of the cytoplasmic end of TM5. The most surprising observation is a major displacement of the alpha helical domain of Gαs relative to the ras-like GTPase domain. This crystal structure represents the first high-resolution view of transmembrane signaling by a GPCR.
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            Lifeact: a versatile marker to visualize F-actin.

            Live imaging of the actin cytoskeleton is crucial for the study of many fundamental biological processes, but current approaches to visualize actin have several limitations. Here we describe Lifeact, a 17-amino-acid peptide, which stained filamentous actin (F-actin) structures in eukaryotic cells and tissues. Lifeact did not interfere with actin dynamics in vitro and in vivo and in its chemically modified peptide form allowed visualization of actin dynamics in nontransfectable cells.
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              Naturally occurring antibodies devoid of light chains.

              Random association of VL and VH repertoires contributes considerably to antibody diversity. The diversity and the affinity are then increased by hypermutation in B cells located in germinal centres. Except in the case of 'heavy chain' disease, naturally occurring heavy-chain antibodies have not been described, although antigen binding has been demonstrated for separated heavy chains or cloned VH domains. Here we investigate the presence of considerable amounts of IgG-like material of M(r) 100K in the serum of the camel (Camelus dromedarius). These molecules are composed of heavy-chain dimers and are devoid of light chains, but nevertheless have an extensive antigen-binding repertoire, a finding that calls into question the role of light chains in the camel. Camel heavy-chain IgGs lack CH1, which in one IgG class might be structurally replaced by an extended hinge. Heavy-chain IgGs are a feature of all camelids. These findings open new perspectives in the engineering of antibodies.
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                Author and article information

                Affiliations
                [1 ]Department of Biology II, Ludwig Maximilians University Munich and Center for Integrated Protein Science Munich, 82152 Planegg-Martinsried, Germany
                [2 ]Department of Biology, Technical University of Darmstadt, 64287 Darmstadt, Germany
                [3 ]Laboratory of Cellular and Molecular Immunology, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, 1050 Brussels, Belgium
                Author notes
                Correspondence to Heinrich Leonhardt: h.leonhardt@ 123456lmu.de
                Journal
                J Cell Biol
                J. Cell Biol
                jcb
                jcb
                The Journal of Cell Biology
                The Rockefeller University Press
                0021-9525
                1540-8140
                8 June 2015
                : 209
                : 5
                : 633-644
                201409074
                10.1083/jcb.201409074
                4460151
                26056137
                © 2015 Helma et al.

                This article is distributed under the terms of an Attribution–Noncommercial–Share Alike–No Mirror Sites license for the first six months after the publication date (see http://www.rupress.org/terms). After six months it is available under a Creative Commons License (Attribution–Noncommercial–Share Alike 3.0 Unported license, as described at http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/).

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