Research Article

Nanobodies and their medical applications

Published: March 26, 2020
Genet. Mol. Res. 19(1): GMR18452 DOI:
Cite this Article:
H. Boulenouar, Y. .Amar, N. Bouchoutrouch, M.E.A. Faouzi, Y. Cherrah, H. Sefrioui (2020). Nanobodies and their medical applications. Genet. Mol. Res. 19(1): GMR18452.


Nanobodies (Nbs) are mini antibodies 10 times smaller than conventional antibodies. They constitute a new class of antibodies devoid of light chains. Their paratope consists of a single variable domain "VHH" (heavy chain variable domain) formed by a single peptide chain. Nevertheless, Nbs maintain the same repertoire of diversity and affinity characteristics as conventional antibodies. Because of their high specificity, small size, and low production cost, Nbs are emerging progressively as a potential alternative to overcome the limitation of conventional antibodies in targeted therapy. Indeed, the therapeutic spectrum of Nbs has been confirmed in animal models and human clinical trials. The present review provides a summary of the technological advances in the production of Nbs and their potential targeted therapeutic biomarkers over the past 10 years.