Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Mutations in TREM2, a receptor expressed by microglia in the brain, are associated with an increased risk of neurodegeneration, including Alzheimer's disease. Numerous studies support a role for TREM2 in sensing damaging stimuli and triggering signaling cascades necessary for neuroprotection. Despite its significant role, ligands and regulators of TREM2 activation, and the mechanisms governing TREM2-dependent responses and its cleavage from the membrane, remain poorly characterized. Here, we present phage display generated antibody single-chain variable fragments (scFvs) to human TREM2 immunoglobulin-like domain. Co-crystal structures revealed the binding of two scFvs to an epitope on the TREM2 domain distal to the putative ligand-binding site. Enhanced functional activity was observed for oligomeric scFv species, which inhibited the production of soluble TREM2 in a HEK293 cell model. We hope that detailed characterization of their epitopes and properties will facilitate the use of these renewable binders as structural and functional biology tools for TREM2 research.

Original publication




Journal article



Publication Date



Alzheimer's disease, TREM2, X-ray crystallography, microglia, single-chain variable fragments