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    A critical property of many therapies is their selective binding to target populations. Exceptional specificity can arise from high-affinity binding to surface targets expressed exclusively on target cell types. In many cases, however, therapeutic targets are only expressed at subtly different levels relative to off-target cells. More complex binding strategies have been developed to overcome this limitation, including multi-specific and multivalent molecules, creating a combinatorial explosion of design possibilities. Guiding strategies for developing cell-specific binding are critical to employ these tools. Here, we employ a uniquely general multivalent binding model to dissect multi-ligand and multi-receptor interactions. This model allows us to analyze and explore a series of mechanisms to engineer cell selectivity, including mixtures of molecules, affinity adjustments, valency changes, multi-specific molecules and ligand competition. Each of these strategies can optimize selectivity in distinct cases, leading to enhanced selectivity when employed together. The proposed model, therefore, provides a comprehensive toolkit for the model-driven design of selectively binding therapies. © The Author(s) 2021. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail:


    Zhixin Cyrillus Tan, Brian T Orcutt-Jahns, Aaron S Meyer. A quantitative view of strategies to engineer cell-selective ligand binding. Integrative biology : quantitative biosciences from nano to macro. 2021 Dec 30;13(11):269-282

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    PMID: 34931243

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