Development of camelid monoclonal nanobody against SLC39A6 zinc transporter protein

Document Type : Original Article


1 Department of Biology, Science and Research Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tehran, Iran

2 National Cell Bank of Iran, Pasteur Institute of Iran, Tehran, Iran

3 Biotechnology Research Centre, Venom and Biotherapeutics Molecules Laboratory, Pasteur Institute of Iran, Tehran, Iran

4 Zoonoses Research Centre, Pasteur Institute of Iran, Amol, Iran


Objective(s): SLC39A6 (solute carrier family 39) or LIV-1, is a zinc-transporter protein associated with estrogen-positive breast cancer and its metastatic spread. Significantly there is a direct relation between high zinc intake and unregulated proliferation and cancers. Blocking SLC39A6 protein may result in reduced metastasis and proliferation in many malignant tumors. This study aimed to develop an anti-SLC39A6 nanobody that is able to detect and block the SLC39A6 protein on the surface of cancerous cells.
Materials and Methods: The recombinant SLC39A6 was expressed and used for camel immunization. The VHH library was constructed and screened for SLC39A6-specific nanobody. Then, the strength of nanobody in SLC39A6 detection was evaluated by Western blotting and flow cytometry.
Results: We showed the ability of nanobody to detect SLC39A6 by Western blotting and flow cytometry and the specificity of the C3 nanobody for the SLC39A6 antigen. Furthermore, the selected nanobody potently inhibits cell proliferation.
Conclusion: These data show the potential of SLC39A6-specific nanobody for the blockade of zinc transportation and provide a basis for the development of novel cancer therapeutics.


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