Turkish Journal of Biology




The number of therapeutic antibodies in preclinical, clinical, or approved phases has been increasing exponentially, mostly due to their known successes. Development of antibody engineering methods has substantially hastened the development of therapeutic antibodies. A variety of protein engineering techniques can be applied to antibodies to improve their affinity and/or biophysical properties such as solubility and stability. Antibody fragments (where all or some parts of constant regions are eliminated while the essential antigen binding region is preserved) are more suitable for protein engineering techniques because there are many in vitro screening technologies available for antibody fragments but not full-length antibodies. Improvement of biophysical characteristics is important in the early development phase because most antibodies fail at the later stage of development and this leads to loss of resources and time. Here, we review directed evolution and rational design methods to improve antibody properties. Recent developments in rational design approaches and antibody display technologies, and especially phage display, which was recently awarded the 2018 Nobel Prize, are discussed to be used in antibody research and development.

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