The rapidly increasing application of antibodies has inspired the development of several novel methods to isolate and target antibodies using smart biomaterials that mimic the binding of Fc-receptors to antibodies. The Fc-binding domain of antibodies is the primary binding site for e.g., effector proteins and secondary antibodies, whereas antigens bind to the Fab region. Protein A, G, and L, surface proteins expressed by pathogenic bacteria, are well known to bind immunoglobulin and have been widely exploited in antibody purification strategies. Several difficulties are encountered when bacterial proteins are used in antibody research and application. One of the major obstacles hampering the use of bacterial proteins is sample contamination with trace amounts of these proteins, which can invoke an immune response in the host. Many research groups actively develop synthetic ligands that are able to selectively and strongly bind to antibodies. Among the reported ligands, peptides that bind to the Fc-domain of antibodies are attractive tools in antibody research. Besides their use as high affinity ligands in antibody purification chromatography, Fc-binding peptides are applied e.g., to localize antibodies on nanomaterials and to increase the half-life of proteins in serum. In this review, recent developments of Fc-binding peptides are presented and their binding characteristics and diverse applications are discussed.
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