Development of novel therapeutic antibodies targeting tau
Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and related dementias are the leading cause of death of Australian women and the second leading cause of death of Australian men.
There are currently no effective treatments for the disease. However, one of the main pathological hallmarks of AD is the hyperphosphorylation and accumulation of a protein called tau in neurons. Therefore, preventing tau aggregation is an attractive therapeutic strategy.
Targeting tau is challenging, however, an effective therapeutic must be able to cross the blood-brain barrier and the neuronal membrane to engage tau within the neuronal cytoplasm. Intrabodies are intracellular antibodies capable of engaging intracellular targets, such as tau.
Skills that will be developed: Cell culture, antibody engineering, protein purification, phage antibody display, western blotting and ELISA. Pre-clinical treatment of tau transgenic mice is also possible depending on student interest.
This project aims to develop novel tau intrabodies and characterise their expression and functionality within neurons. Furthermore, to efficiently deliver the intrabodies to the cell cytoplasm, a nucleic acid encoding the intrabodies will be packaged into delivery vehicles (adeno-associated virus, biological vesicles and/or lipid nanoparticles).
Take part in this project
Students who are applying to study at The Florey can register their interest in this project. Refer to our step-by-step guide to help you with your application.