Antibody Sequencing and the Technology Behind It

Antibodies are one of the body’s line of defense against antigens, and this is the best information most people remember from Biology class about antibodies. However, there’s actually more to antibodies than this definition. Analyzing what these antibodies are up to can offer a breadth of information about these compounds and how they can influence medicinal practices in the future.

Antibodies, also called immunoglobulins, are proteins created by the immune system to stop intruders, called antigens. These antigens can be in the form of chemicals, bacteria, or viruses. The main role of an antibody is to “mark” these antigens so that the body knows that these intruders need to be stopped and destroyed. They’re essentially scouts that “stick” to antigens as identifying marks. B-cells are in charge of creating antibodies for specific antigens, which T-cells then proceed to attack. When the antigens are destroyed, phagocytes consume the remains of the infection. This is how antibodies work in the body. So what’s the point of sequencing them?

Antibody Sequencing: How It Works

Rapid Novor’s antibody sequencing service is one of the leaders in antibody sequencing in the market today. But what exactly do companies like them do? What is antibody sequencing, and what are its potential benefits and applications?

Antibody sequencing is a bio-technique that allows scientists and professionals to determine the sequence of amino acids that are present inside an antibody, hence the term. Knowing the functions and structures of antibodies in living organisms can greatly help in understanding the processes of cells and can pave the way for breakthrough applications, such as the formulation of potent drugs that can target specific pathways in the body’s system. Other benefits include:

  • Protection of valuable clones, and recombinant antibody expression that may be needed in experiments.
  • Intellectual property and patent applications, especially for explanation.
  • Stable cell line traceability and quality control for medical purposes.

Types of Antibody Sequencing

Interestingly, given the rather unique nature of antibody sequencing, there are different kinds according to your specific needs. These include:

  • Antibody Protein Sequencing: This is perhaps the most popular type of antibody sequencing. The method allows you to determine the sequence of amino acids of an unknown antibody through mass spectrometry. It only takes a few weeks to get a detailed report, supporting data on the accuracy of the sequence, other relevant observations, and amino acid sequences of light- and heavy-chain antibody sequences.
  • Intact Mass Analysis and Peptide Mapping: This is a method commonly mistaken for protein sequencing but in fact uses different tools. The method can help confirm if the molecular weight of an antibody is the same as what’s been observed experimentally down to the level of the protein. Moreover, this method can confirm the sequence of the antibody on the peptide level, which makes it an extremely accurate tool.
  • Edman Sequencing: This is one of the oldest antibody sequencing methods available. It sequences the protein directly, although usually it can only do this to proteins that are up to 50 amino acids long.
  • Hybridoma Sequencing: This method is extremely popular because it’s perhaps the most economical method of sequencing antibodies when the secreting cell line is available. This process involves the sequencing of the cDNA that encodes variable light and heavy domains of the hybridoma cell line.

The Takeaway: Antibody Sequencing Can Help with Your Health

Antibody sequencing can greatly help with understanding the antibodies inside the human body. This can also be extremely important for scientists, professionals, and individuals interested in the medical profession to have a more in-depth look into the nature of antibodies and how they work in the body. The information obtained from antibody sequencing can pave way to a lot of scientific innovations that can improve the health and of well-being of humankind.

Tom Parillo

Tom Parillo

I am interested in all things technology, especially automation, robotics and tech that helps change how society will live in the future.
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