Fab construction of antibodies
by Nathan Wei, MD, FACP, FACR
Nathan Wei is a nationally known board-certified rheumatologist and author of the Second Opinion Arthritis Treatment Kit. It's available exclusively at this website... not available in stores.
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A new area of immunology research is called proteomics.
This is a speciality aimed towards discovering biomarkers of disease. Biomarkers are biologic clues inside diseased tissue. Knowledge of biomarkers can be the genetic keys that might unlock the secrets to disease. The achievement of the human genome project has injected more excitement into this area of science.
To give you an idea as to what types of science is involved, here is an abstract describing a new method of developing Fab antibodies. These antibodies are being used as pathfinder molecules to uncover new genetic markers.
(Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1991 May 15;88(10):4363-6.
Linkage of recognition and replication functions by assembling combinatorial antibody Fab libraries along phage surfaces.
Kang AS, Barbas CF, Janda KD, Benkovic SJ, Lerner RA.
We describe a method based on a phagemid vector with helper phage rescue for the construction and rapid analysis of combinatorial antibody Fab libraries.
This approach should allow the generation and selection of many monoclonal antibodies. Antibody genes are expressed in concert with phage morphogenesis, thereby allowing incorporation of functional Fab molecules along the surface of filamentous phage. The power of the method depends upon the linkage of recognition and replication functions and is not limited to antibody molecules.)
The pipeline of therapeutic antibodies has been growing steadily, building on successful clinical trials, particularly in cancer. In arthritis, biomarker research is also progressing.
This growth will accelerate, as genomic companies use antibodies to identify and modify these targets.
In addition, studies using antibodies are being conducted as part of the explosive growth of proteomics.
All of these trends place a tremendous emphasis on the development of new approaches for faster antibody development, improved methods of selection and optimization, alternatives for production, and evaluation for novel applications. When specific abnormalities can be targeted with laser-like precision, the possibility of cure for diseases like cancer and arthritis is possible.
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