Translational Research

 

Computationally-Guided Directed Evolution

Lectenz®: Glycan-Specific Biosensors Engineered via

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Kausar’s research focuses on applying computational and chemical biology tools in order to develop applications-oriented biotechnologies.


The Lectenz® platform Technology

Kausar co-developed the Lectenz® platform technology in collaboration with Glycosensors and Diagnostics during his doctoral research at the Complex Carbohydrate Research Center at the University of Georgia. Lectenz® biomolecules have lectin-like properties are engineered from carbohydrate-processing enzymes. The design of Lectenz® is initiated in silico to determine optimal carbohydrate-enzyme interactions using molecular dynamics simulations. Simulated structure/function relationships are validated by generating focused biocombinatorial libraries for selection and downstream characterization of Lectenz® candidates. Lectenz® biomolecules may be utilized as capture molecules for sample enrichment, recognition elements in biosensors, and in multiplexed bead-based assays for monitoring of glycosylation states of glycoproteins of interest, a critical need in process analytical technologies for bioprocess monitoring. (Lectenz® is a federally registered trademark of Glycosensors and Diagnostics, LLC d/b/a Lectenz® Bio.)


Previous Research Projects

1. Developing cell-targeting peptides using phage-displayed peptide libraries. Cell-targeting peptides were employed in vitro and in vivo to deliver DNA, therapeutics, and nanoparticles in a cell-specific manner to a variety of different cell types, including cancer cells, immune cells, and β-islet cells.

2. Developing peptide arrays employed in high throughput screening for biosignature applications.

3. Developing high density oligonucleotide arrays to identify glycan binding aptamers.

4. Differential glycome gene expression profiling of human embryonic stem cells and mesenchymal stem cells.

5. Developing glycoinformatics tools in order to text mine lectin and glycan interactions in bioprocesses.

Image Credit: Nancy Evelyn