Optical control of antibody activity using photocleavable bivalent peptide-DNA locks

Simone Wouters, E. Wijker, Maarten Merkx (Corresponding author)

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Antibody-based molecular recognition plays a central role in today's life sciences, ranging from immunoassays to molecular imaging and antibody-based therapeutics. Control over antibody activity by using external triggers such as light could further increase the specificity of antibody-based targeting. Here we present bivalent peptide–DNA ligands containing photocleavable linkers as a noncovalent approach by which to allow photoactivation of antibody activity. Light-triggered cleavage of the 3-amino-3-(2-nitrophenyl)propionic acid peptide linker converted the high-affinity bivalent peptide–DNA lock into weakly binding monovalent ligands, effectively restoring antibody targeting of cell-surface receptors. In this work, a proof of principle was provided with an anti-hemagglutinin antibody, but the molecular design of the lock is generic and applicable to any monoclonal antibody for which an epitope or mimotope of sufficient affinity is available.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2463-2466
Number of pages4
Issue number19
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2019
Event1st International Workshop on Metals in Medicine: Chimie ParisTech - Paris, France
Duration: 14 Nov 201915 Nov 2019


  • antibodies
  • bivalent ligands
  • caged ligands
  • optogenetics
  • photolysis


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