Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

The hitchhiker antigen: Cause for concern?

Date:
October 23, 2013
Source:
Canadian Science Publishing (NRC Research Press)
Summary:
A new article describes the problem of poor antibody performance, which has caused the loss of countless hours of research, to say nothing of the mental anguish of the researchers themselves.

Since antibodies first attained prominence as research reagents in modern biological science labs, researchers have been perplexed as to why one production lot can differ significantly from the next, in terms of performance. Poor antibody performance has caused the loss of countless hours of research, to say nothing of the mental anguish of the researchers themselves. An antigen is a substance that stimulates the production of antibodies.

Related Articles


Now that antibodies are being widely exploited for clinical purposes, the problem of poor antibody performance goes beyond inconvenience to researchers and may threaten patients in a number of ways, including misdiagnosis of disease by pathologists using antibodies to characterize tissue biopsies; disposal of antibody production lots by manufacturers because of the apparent lack of potency; and misinterpretation of research results leading to incorrect conclusions about mechanisms of action for some diseases, which can be costly to pharmaceutical companies pursuing the wrong leads during drug development.

A new article just published in the journal Biochemistry and Cell Biology titled: "Hitchhiker antigens: Inconsistent ChIP results, questionable immunohistology data, and poor antibody performance may have a common factor" describes the problem. It claims that antibodies being manufactured today in large biological systems, whether it is a bioreactor filled with mammalian cells or a living organism, such as a rabbit or a goat, may often have a significant proportion of the lot "contaminated" with the very antigens they are designed to target. The antigens contaminating the antibodies can be thought of as "hitchhikers." This is only a problem if the antibody is designed to target a cellular protein or structure that is already present in the biological system in which it is being made, but such antibodies are increasingly common and are used for research and in medicine.

In this article, the author, Dr. Missag Parseghian, who develops clinical antibodies at Rubicon Biotechnology, introduces readers to a recent survey by the ENCODE consortium of commercial histone-targeting antibodies and how their data highlights the detrimental effects of hitchhiker antigens. His observations may have researchers thinking about the purity of the commercial antibodies sitting in their lab refrigerators. The problem, he says, may be prevalent in a wide array of research areas, not just the areas of chromatin, auto-immune and histone research highlighted here.

"I have been working with antibodies for over 25 years, both as a consumer who uses them in my research and as a scientist working for companies that manufacture them as therapeutics, and what has always struck me about antibodies is the variation in their performance from one lot to the next. Especially when working with antibodies generated from a small research lab and later from a commercial supplier," explained Dr. Parseghian. "Not that one or the other group produces a superior product, rather the same antibody produced by two different groups can show tremendous variation. Understanding and eliminating this variation is critical for successful development of antibody-based biologic agents as drugs."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Canadian Science Publishing (NRC Research Press). Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Missag Hagop Parseghian. Hitchhiker antigens: Inconsistent ChIP results, questionable immunohistology data, and poor antibody performance may have a common factor. Biochemistry and Cell Biology, 2013; 1 DOI: 10.1139/bcb-2013-0059

Cite This Page:

Canadian Science Publishing (NRC Research Press). "The hitchhiker antigen: Cause for concern?." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 23 October 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131023090944.htm>.
Canadian Science Publishing (NRC Research Press). (2013, October 23). The hitchhiker antigen: Cause for concern?. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 24, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131023090944.htm
Canadian Science Publishing (NRC Research Press). "The hitchhiker antigen: Cause for concern?." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131023090944.htm (accessed April 24, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, April 24, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

85 Killed in Niger by Meningitis Since Start of Year

85 Killed in Niger by Meningitis Since Start of Year

AFP (Apr. 24, 2015) A meningitis outbreak in Niger has killed 85 people since the start of the year prompting authorities to close schools in the capital Niamey until Monday. Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Anti-Malaria Jab Hope

Anti-Malaria Jab Hope

Reuters - News Video Online (Apr. 24, 2015) The world&apos;s first anti-malaria vaccine could get the go-ahead for use in Africa from October if approved by international regulators. Paul Chapman reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
3D Food Printing: The Meal of the Future?

3D Food Printing: The Meal of the Future?

AP (Apr. 23, 2015) Developers of 3D food printing hope the culinary technology will revolutionize the way we cook and eat. (April 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Your Genes Could Influence How Much Mosquitoes Love You

Your Genes Could Influence How Much Mosquitoes Love You

Newsy (Apr. 23, 2015) New research suggests genetics play a big part in how appetizing you smell to mosquitoes. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins