• Camelid Nanobodies for Therapy: Circulating in the healthy immune system of llamas, camels and alpacas is an unusually small version of antibody– proteins that are key to fighting infection. In contrast to our antibodies that are large and cumbersome (120-150 kilo Daltons in size), single domain antibodies made from the Camelid family are only 12-15 kDa or 4 x 2.5 nanometers in diameter.
• Potent and penetrant, these little proteins (right image) are more soluble and stable than their larger counterparts. They can get deep into tissues or cross the blood brain barrier where they have the potential to neutralize viruses, deliver toxins to cancer cells or even fight fungi in formulations of anti-dandruff shampoo. Concerned about alpaca abuse? No worries, they can be produced in bacterial factories.
Sources: (i) http://bpod.mrc.ac.uk/archive/2012/10/4
(iii) Saerens et al., Single-domain antibodies as building blocks for novel therapeutics. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.coph.2008.07.006