Development of high-affinity nanobodies specific for NaV1.4 and NaV1.5 voltage-gated sodium channel isoforms

Lakshmi Srinivasan, Vanina Alzogaray, Dakshnamurthy Selvakumar, Sara Nathan, Jesse B. Yoder, Katharine M. Wright, Sebastián Klinke, Justin N. Nwafor, María S. Labanda, Fernando A. Goldbaum, Arne Schön, Ernesto Freire, Gordon F. Tomaselli, L. Mario Amzel, Manu Ben-Johny, Sandra B. Gabelli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Voltage-gated sodium channels, NaVs, are responsible for the rapid rise of action potentials in excitable tissues. NaV channel mutations have been implicated in several human genetic diseases, such as hypokalemic periodic paralysis, myotonia, and long-QT and Brugada syndromes. Here, we generated high-affinity anti-NaV nanobodies (Nbs), Nb17 and Nb82, that recognize the NaV1.4 (skeletal muscle) and NaV1.5 (cardiac muscle) channel isoforms. These Nbs were raised in llama (Lama glama) and selected from a phage display library for high affinity to the C-terminal (CT) region of NaV1.4. The Nbs were expressed in Escherichia coli, purified, and bio-physically characterized. Development of high-affinity Nbs specifically targeting a given human NaV isoform has been challenging because they usually show undesired cross-reactivity for different NaV isoforms. Our results show, however, that Nb17 and Nb82 recognize the CTNaV1.4 or CTNaV1.5 over other CTNav isoforms. Kinetic experiments by biolayer interferometry determined that Nb17 and Nb82 bind to the CTNaV1.4 and CTNaV1.5 with high affinity (KD ~ 40-60 nM). In addition, as proof of concept, we show that Nb82 could detect NaV1.4 and NaV1.5 channels in mammalian cells and tissues by Western blot. Furthermore, human embryonic kidney cells expressing holo NaV1.5 channels demonstrated a robust FRET-binding efficiency for Nb17 and Nb82. Our work lays the foundation for developing Nbs as anti-NaV reagents to capture NaVs from cell lysates and as molecular visualization agents for NaVs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number101763
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 2022
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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