Generation and characterization of antibodies for proteomics research
Sammanfattning: Specific antibodies are invaluable tools for proteomics research. The availability of thoroughly validated antibodies will help to improve our understanding of protein expression, localization and function; fundamental processes and features of all living organisms. The objectives of the studies in this thesis were to develop high-throughput methods to facilitate the generation and purification of monospecific antibodies, and to address problems associated with antigen selection for difficult target proteins and subsequent validation issues.In the first of the studies, it was demonstrated that antibodies specific to human proteins could be generated in a high-throughput manner using protein epitope signature tags (PrESTs) as both antigens and affinity ligands. A previously developed purification process was adapted to a high-throughput format and this, in combination with the development of a protein microarray assay, resulted in monospecific antibodies that were used for profiling protein expression in 48 human tissues. Data obtained in these analyses suggest that a complete Human Protein Atlas should be attainable within the next ten years. In order to reduce the number of animals needed for such a massive project, and improve the cost-efficiency of antibody generation, a multiplex immunization strategy was developed in a further study. Antisera from rabbits immunized with mixtures of two, three, five and up to ten different PrESTs were successfully purified and analyzed for specificity using protein arrays. Almost 80% of the animals immunized with up to three PrESTs yielded antibodies towards all the PrESTs administered, and they yielded comparable immunohistochemical staining patterns (of consecutive human tissue sections) to those of antibodies obtained from traditional single PrEST immunizations.Proteins with highly similar sequences to other proteins present a major challenge for the proteome-wide generation of antibodies. In another study, Cytokeratin-17 which displays high sequence similarity to closely related members of the intermediate filament family, was used as a model and the specificity and cross-reactivity of antibodies generated against this target were investigated using epitope mapping in combination with comparative IHC analyses. Antibodies identified by epitope mapping as binding to the most unique parts of the Cytokeratin-17 PrESTs also showed the most Cytokeratin-17-like staining pattern, thus further supporting the strategy of using sequence identity scores as the main criteria for PrEST design.An alternative antigen design strategy was investigated for use in raising antibodies towards G-proteincoupled receptors (GPCRs). The extracellular loops and N-terminus of each of three selected GPCRs were assembled to form single antigens and the resulting antibodies were analyzed by flow cytometric and confocal microscopic analyses of cell lines over-expressing the respective receptors. The results from both flow cytometric and immunofluorescence analyses showed that the antibodies were able to bind to their targets. In addition, the antibodies were used successfully for the in situ analysis of human brain and pancreatic islet cells.
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