Recombinant Ligand-Toxin Conjugates, Domain Engineering and the Search for Targeted Pharmaceuticals
Affinity therapy is the opportunity to attempt precise targeting of therapeutic effectors to their site of action. Within the past years, advances in biochemistry and molecular biology of membranes and cell growth regulation have provided tools that can assist in the design of more selective chemotherapeutic agents. Cloning and expressing genes coding for a variety of effector molecules allows the assembly of recombinant chimaeras for anticancer, immunosuppressive, antiviral and cardiovascular targeted therapy (Soria and Zeller, 1978; Soria and Martini, 1987; Soria, 1989a). Site-specific delivery might thus fulfil Paul Ehrlich’s dream of “magic bullets” by engineering specific structural/functional domains into therapeutic agents, in order to improve their persistence in the circulation and to localize them at the site of action.
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