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Roque, ACA, Wilson OC.  2008.  Adsorption of gum Arabic on bioceramic nanoparticles. Materials Science & Engineering C.- Biomimetic and Supramolecular Systems. 28:443–447., Number 3 Abstract


Dias, AMGC, dos Santos R, Iranzo O, Roque ACA.  2016.  Affinity adsorbents for proline-rich peptide sequences: a new role for WW domains. RSC Adv.. 6:68979-68988.: The Royal Society of Chemistry AbstractWebsite

The WW domain derived from human Yes-associated protein (hYAP65_WW) recognizes proline-rich peptides. The structural and chemical robustness of WW domains makes them appealing candidates to target and capture these peptides in affinity purification processes. In this work{,} the chemical synthesis of the hYAP65_WW domain containing a terminal cysteine for oriented coupling onto the chromatographic matrix was successfully achieved by a fragment solution condensation reaction and by incorporation of pseudoproline dipeptide units. Both strategies yielded a hYAP65_WW protein with the characteristic WW domain folding. The purified hYAP65_WW domain was immobilized in a chromatographic matrix and tested for binding to a proline-rich peptide. The adsorbent bound 92 ng of peptide per mg of support and the elution was particularly efficient when employing a low pH or an increase in salt concentration. This work sets the ground for the application of WW domains as affinity reagents towards the capture and elution of peptides and proteins rich in proline sequences.

Roque, ACA, Lowe CR.  2007.  Affinity chromatography: History, Perspectives, Limitations and Prospects. Affinity Chromatography: Methods and Protocols. (M. Zachariou, Ed.).:1-23., U.S.A.: Humana Press Inc. Abstract

Biomolecule separation and purification has until very recently steadfastly remained one of the more empirical aspects of modern biotechnology. Affinity chromatography, one of several types of adsorption chromatography, is particularly suited for the efficient isolation of biomolecules. This technique relies on the adsorbent bed material that has biological affinity for the substance to be isolated. This review is intended to place affinity chromatography in historical perspective and describe the current status, limitations and future prospects for the technique in modern biotechnology.

Pina, AS, Batalha IL, Roque ACA.  2014.  Affinity Tags in Protein Purification and Peptide Enrichment: An Overview. Protein Downstream Processing: Design, Development and Application of High and Low-Resolution Methods. (Labrou, Nikolaos, Ed.).:147-168.: Springer Abstract

The reversible interaction between an affinity ligand and a complementary receptor has been widely explored in purification systems for several biomolecules. The development of tailored affinity ligands highly specific towards particular target biomolecules is one of the options in affinity purification systems. However, both genetic and chemical modifications on proteins and peptides widen the application of affinity ligand-tag receptor pairs towards universal capture and purification strategies. In particular, this chapter will focus on two case studies highly relevant for biotechnology and biomedical areas, namely, the affinity tags and receptors employed on the production of recombinant fusion proteins and the chemical modification of phosphate groups on proteins and peptides and the subsequent specific capture and enrichment, a mandatory step before further proteomic analysis.

Pina, AS, Batalha IL, Dias AMGC, Roque ACA.  2021.  Affinity tags in protein purification and peptide enrichment: An overview, in Protein Downstream Processing: Design, Development, and Application of High and Low-Resolution Methods. Methods in Molecular Biology. :107-132.: Springer-Humana Press
Palma, SICJ, Fernandes AR, Roque ACA.  2016.  An affinity triggered MRI nanoprobe for pH-dependent cell labeling. RSC Adv.. 6:113503–113512., Number 114: Royal Society of Chemistry AbstractWebsite

The pH-sensitive affinity pair composed by neutravidin and iminobiotin was used to develop a multilayered Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) nanoprobe responsive to the acidic pH of tumor microenvironment. The multilayer system was assembled on meso-2,3-dimercaptosuccinic acid-coated iron oxide magnetic nanoparticles (MNP), which convey negative MRI contrast enhancement properties to the nanoprobe. The outer stealth PEG-layer is altered in acidic media due to the disruption of interactions between neutravidin–iminobiotin. As a consequence, the positively charged inner layer is exposed and enhances interactions with cells. The nanoprobe uptake by HCT116 cells cultured in vitro under acidic conditions had a 2-fold increase compared to the uptake at physiological pH. The uptake difference is particularly clear in T2-weighted MRI phantoms of cells incubated with the nanoprobes at both pH conditions. This work sets the proof-of-concept of a MNP-based MRI nanoprobe targeting acidic tumor microenvironment through the use of a specific bio-recognition interaction that is pH-sensitive. This tumor targeting strategy is potentially applicable to the generality of tumors since the typical hypoxic conditions and high glycolysis rate in cancer cells create an acidic environment common to the majority of cancer types.

Roque, ACA, Silva CSO, Taipa ÂM.  2007.  Affinity-based methodologies and ligands for antibody purification: Advances and perspectives. Journal of Chromatography A. 1160:44–55., Number 1-2 AbstractWebsite

Many successful, recent therapies for life-threatening diseases such as cancer and rheumatoid arthritis are based on the recognition between native or genetically engineered antibodies and cell-surface receptors. Although naturally produced by the immune system, the need for antibodies with unique specificities and designed for single application, has encouraged the search for novel antibody purification strategies. The availability of these products to the end-consumer is strictly related to manufacture costs, particularly those attributed to downstream processing. Over the last decades, academia and industry have developed different types of interactions and separation techniques for antibody purification, affinity-based strategies being the most common and efficient methodologies. The affinity ligands utilized range from biological to synthetic designed molecules with enhanced resistance and stability. Despite the successes achieved, the purification “paradigm” still moves interests and efforts in the continuous demand for improved separation performances. This review will focus on recent advances and perspectives in antibody purification by affinity interactions using different techniques, with particular emphasis on affinity chromatography.

Fernandes, CSM, Pina AS, Roque ACA.  2021.  Affinity-triggered hydrogels: Developments and prospects in biomaterials science. Biomaterials. 268:120563.
Fernandes, C, Pina AS, Barbosa AJM, Padrão I, Duarte F, Andreia C, Teixeira S, Alves V, Gomes P, Fernandes TG, Dias AMGC, Roque ACA.  2019.  Affinity‐triggered assemblies based on a designed peptide‐peptide affinity pair. Biotechnology Journal. -(-):-. AbstractWebsite

Affinity‐triggered assemblies rely on affinity interactions as the driving force to assemble physically‐crosslinked networks. WW domains are small hydrophobic proteins binding to proline‐rich peptides that are typically produced in the insoluble form. Previous works attempted the biological production of the full WW domain in tandem to generate multivalent components for affinity‐triggered hydrogels. In this work, an alternative approach was followed by engineering a 13‐mer minimal version of the WW domain that retains the ability to bind to target proline‐rich peptides. Both ligand and target peptides were produced chemically and conjugated to multivalent polyethylene glycol, yielding two components. Upon mixing, they together form soft biocompatible affinity‐triggered assemblies, stable in stem cell culture media, and displaying mechanical properties in the same order of magnitude as for those hydrogels formed with the full WW protein in tandem.

Fernandes, CSM, dos Santos R, Ottengy S, Viecinski AC, Béhar G, Mouratou B, Pecorari F, Roque ACA.  2016.  Affitins for protein purification by affinity magnetic fishing. Journal of Chromatography A. 1457:50–58.: Elsevier B.V. AbstractWebsite

Currently most economical and technological bottlenecks in protein production are placed in the down-stream processes. With the aim of increasing the efficiency and reducing the associated costs, variousaffinity ligands have been developed. Affitins are small, yet robust and easy to produce, proteins derivedfrom the archaeal extremophilic “7 kDa DNA-binding” protein family. By means of combinatorial pro-tein engineering and ribosome display selection techniques, Affitins have shown to bind a diversity oftargets. In this work, two previously developed Affitins (anti-lysozyme and anti-IgG) were immobilizedonto magnetic particles to assess their potential for protein purification by magnetic fishing. The opti-mal lysozyme and human IgG binding conditions yielded 58 mg lysozyme/g support and 165 mg IgG/gsupport, respectively. The recovery of proteins was possible in high yield (≥95{%}) and with high purity,namely ≥95{%} and 81{%}, when recovering lysozyme from Escherichia coli supernatant and IgG from humanplasma, respectively. Static binding studies indicated affinity constants of 5.0 × 104M−1and 9.3 × 105M−1for the anti-lysozyme and anti-IgG magnetic supports. This work demonstrated that Affitins, which canbe virtually evolved for any protein of interest, can be coupled onto magnetic particles creating novelaffinity adsorbents for purification by magnetic fishing.

Ataíde, F, Azevedo C, Clemente JJ, Cunha AE, Freitas F, Reis MAM, Roque ACA, Oliveira R.  2012.  Analysis of oxygen transport enhancement by functionalized magnetic nanoparticles (FMP) in bioprocesses. New Biotechnology. 29S:S75.Website
Bicho, A, Peça IN, Roque ACA, Cardoso MM.  2010.  Anti-CD8 conjugated nanoparticles to target mammalian cells expressing CD8. International Journal of Pharmaceutics. 399:80–86., Number 1-2 AbstractWebsite

This work aimed at the development of targeted drug delivery systems using nanoparticles fused with antibodies. The antibody anti-human {CD8} was coupled onto {PLGA} nanoparticles, and the ability of these particles to specifically target cells expressing {CD8} was studied. The obtained particles were found to be of spherical shape exhibiting a size between 350 and 600 nm. In vitro experiments with different cellular cultures {(TE671}, {CHO} and {HEK293)} using unmodified nanoparticles containing rhodamine have shown that particles were present on their surface within 48 h of incubation. In vitro tests using {anti-CD8} conjugated nanoparticles in {CHO} cell cultures indicated that all transfected cells which express {CD8} show these particles on their surface within 1h of incubation. These results demonstrated that, in a shorter time, the produced particles can target cells expressing {CD8} on their surface which offers the ability to reduce drug side effects. The antibody-coupled nanoparticles represent a promising approach to improve the efficacy of active targeting for lymphoblastic leukaemia therapy.

Roque, ACA, Bispo S, Pinheiro ARN, Antunes JMA, Gonçalves D, Ferreira HA.  2009.  Antibody immobilization on magnetic particles. Journal of Molecular Recognition. 22:77–82., Number 2 AbstractWebsite

Magnetic particles {(MNPs)} offer attractive possibilities in biotechnology. {MNPs} can get close to a target biological entity, as their controllable sizes range from a few nanometres up to tens of nanometres, and their surface can be modified to add affinity and specificity towards desired molecules. Additionally, they can be manipulated by an external magnetic field gradient. In this work, the study of ferric oxide {(Fe3O4)} {MNPs} with different coating agents was conducted, particularly in terms of strategies for antibody attachment at the surfaces (covalent and physical adsorption) and the effects of blocking buffer composition and incubation times on the specific and non-specific interactions observed. The considered biological model system consisted of a coating antibody (goat {IgG)}, bovine serum albumin {(BSA)} as blocking agent, and a complementary antibody labelled with {FITC} (anti-goat {IgG).} The detection of antibody binding was followed by fluorescence microscopy and the intensity of the signals quantified. The ratio between the mean grey values of negative and positive controls, as well as the maximum intensity attainable in positive controls, were considered in the evaluation of the assays efficiency. The covalent immobilization of the coating antibody was more successful as opposed to protein adsorption. For covalent immobilization, silica-coated {MNPs}, a 5% (w/v) concentration of {BSA} in the blocking buffer and incubation times of 1 h produced the best results in terms of assay sensitivity. However, when conducting the assay for incubation periods of 10 min, the fluorescence signal was reduced by 44% but the assay specificity was maintained.

Cardoso, MM, Peça IN, Roque ACA.  2012.  Antibody-Conjugated Nanoparticles for Therapeutic Applications. Current Medicinal Chemistry. 19(19):3103-3127. AbstractWebsite

A great challenge to clinical development is the delivery of chemotherapeutic agents, known to cause severe toxic effects, directly to diseased sites which increase the therapeutic index whilst minimizing off-target side effects. Antibody-conjugated nanoparticles offer great opportunities to overcome these limitations in therapeutics. They combine the advantages given by the nanoparticles with the ability to bind to their target with high affinity and improve cell penetration given by the antibodies. This specialized vehicle, that can encapsulate several chemotherapeutic agents, can be engineered to possess the desirable properties, allowing overcoming the successive physiological conditions and to cross biological barriers and reach a specific tissue or cell. Moreover, antibody-conjugated nanoparticles have shown the ability to be internalized through receptor-mediated endocytosis and accumulate in cells without being recognized by the P-glycoprotein, one of the main mediators of multi-drug resistance, resulting in an increase in the intracellular concentration of drugs. Also, progress in antibody engineering has allowed the manipulation of the basic antibody structure for raising and tailoring specificity and functionality. This review explores recent developments on active drug targeting by nanoparticles functionalized with monoclonal antibodies (polymeric micelles, liposomes and polymeric nanoparticles) and summarizes the opportunities of these targeting strategies in the therapy of serious diseases (cancer, inflammatory diseases, infectious diseases, and thrombosis).

Roque, ACA, Pina AS, Azevedo AM, Aires-Barros R, Jungbauer A, Profio DG, Heng JYY, Haigh J, Ottens M.  2020.  Anything but Conventional Chromatography Approaches in Bioseparation. Biotechnology Journal. (e1900274):1-8.
Mariz, BP, Carvalho S, Batalha IL, Pina AS.  2021.  Artificial enzymes bringing together computational design and directed evolution. Organic & Biomolecular Chemistry. 19(9):1915-1925.