What is it about?

Cow antibodies have a very unusual structure, with an appendage that protrudes out from the antibody surface and can bind into crevices of the target antigen. Cows use these atypical antibodies to fight infections. These antibodies can provide a broadly neutralizing immune response- meaning that they can neutralize many different strains of a virus. Here, we produced the unusual part of cow antibodies, which are extremely small, and showed that these antibody fragments can maintain their binding and neutralization properties to SARS-CoV-2, the COVID-19 coronavirus. These results suggest that the tiny cow antibody fragments could form the basis of a new class of therapeutics against many potential diseases.

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Why is it important?

Antibodies and their fragments have wide use in medicine, including as drug molecules. Cow antibody complementary determining region (CDR) fragments are the smallest known functional antibody fragment, and could become a new class of drug molecules.

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This page is a summary of: The smallest functional antibody fragment: Ultralong CDR H3 antibody knob regions potently neutralize SARS-CoV-2, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, September 2023, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences,
DOI: 10.1073/pnas.2303455120.
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