Generation of High-Specificity Antibodies against Membrane Proteins Using DNA-Gold Micronanoplexes for Gene Gun Immunization

Debra T. Hansen, Felicia M. Craciunescu, Petra Fromme, Stephen A. Johnston, Kathryn F. Sykes

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2 Citations (Scopus)


Membrane proteins are the molecular interface of the cell and its environs; however, studies of membrane proteins are highly technically challenging, mainly due to instability of the isolated protein. Towards the production of antibodies that recognize properly folded and stabilized forms of membrane protein antigen, we describe a DNA-based immunization method for mice that expresses the antigen in the membranes of dendritic cells, thus allowing direct presentation to the immune system. This genetic immunization approach employs a highly efficient method of biolistic delivery based on DNA-gold micronanoplexes, which are complexes of micron-sized gold particles that allow dermal penetration and nanometer-sized gold particles that provide a higher surface area for DNA binding than micron gold alone. In contrast to antibodies derived from immunizations with detergent-solubilized protein or with protein fragments, antibodies from genetic immunization are expected to have a high capacity for binding conformational epitopes and for modulating membrane protein activity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)29.20.1-29.20.22
JournalCurrent Protocols in Protein Science
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2018



  • DNA immunization
  • antibodies
  • conformational epitopes
  • gene gun
  • genetic immunization
  • membrane protein

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Structural Biology
  • Biochemistry

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