Custom conjugates are valuable tools with the potential for applications in many areas.
In vitro, custom conjugates can be used to selectively eliminate cells expressing a specific receptor/antigen. This could be very useful in various cloning and gene trapping strategies where the goal is to select for cells based on expression (or suppression of expression) of a particular gene.
In vivo, custom conjugates can be used to specifically eliminate selected types of neurons for studies of the function of those neurons and responsiveness of animals to a variety of manipulations, including:
- Behavioral studies
- Drug treatments
- Physiological studies
Targeted conjugates are widely used to escort payloads to specific cell populations in vitro and in vivo for both basic research and pharmaceutical development. The development of an effective and specific targeted conjugate is a long and costly process. A molecule that targets the marker of choice (a Targeting Agent) must be identified, produced, and specificity must be characterized. Desirable traits of a Targeting Agent include high specificity and rapid internalization. The Targeting Agent can be an antibody, peptide, protein, or any other molecule that recognizes a cell-surface marker.