A protein assist for brain border crossings

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Science  08 Jan 2016:
Vol. 351, Issue 6269, pp. 135-136
DOI: 10.1126/science.351.6269.135-g

Getting therapies into the brain represents a major challenge to drug developers. A layer of brain endothelial cells (BECs) acts as a barrier by preventing large molecules in the blood from accessing the brain. One promising way to overcome this is by using protein receptors on BECs to transfer large molecules like antibodies across the barrier. Zuchero et al. used proteomics to identify candidate proteins expressed highly on mouse BECs. They found that BECs expressed high amounts of CD98hc and then created antibodies to target it. These antibodies could access the brain after systemic dosing of mice and showed substantial pharmacodynamic activity after being engineered so that one antibody arm recognized a potential drug target for Alzheimer's disease.

Neuron 10.1016/j.neuron.2015.11.024 (2016).

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