Synthesis of tumor-associated MUC1-glycopeptides and their multivalent presentation by functionalized gold colloids†
The mucin MUC1 is a glycoprotein involved in fundamental biological processes, which can be found over-expressed and with a distinctly altered glycan pattern on epithelial tumor cells; thus it is a promising target structure in the quest for effective carbohydrate-based cancer vaccines and immunotherapeutics. Natural glycopeptide antigens indicate only a low immunogenicity and a T-cell independent immune response; however, this major drawback can be overcome by coupling of glycopeptide antigens multivalently to immunostimulating carrier platforms. In particular, gold nanoparticles are well suited as templates for the multivalent presentation of glycopeptide antigens, due to their remarkably high surface-to-volume ratio in combination with their high biostability. In this work the synthesis of novel MUC1-glycopeptide antigens and their coupling to gold nanoparticles of different sizes are presented. In addition, the development of a new dot-blot immunoassay to test the potential antigen–antibody binding is introduced.