Light-guided intrabodies for on-demand in situ target recognition in human cells†
Due to their high stability and specificity in living cells, fluorescently labeled nanobodies are perfect probes for visualizing intracellular targets at an endogenous level. However, intrabodies bind unrestrainedly and hence may interfere with the target protein function. Here, we report a strategy to prevent premature binding through the development of photo-conditional intrabodies. Using genetic code expansion, we introduce photocaged amino acids within the nanobody-binding interface, which, after photo-activation, show instantaneous binding of target proteins with high spatiotemporal precision inside living cells. Due to the highly stable binding, light-guided intrabodies offer a versatile platform for downstream imaging and regulation of target proteins.
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