Antibody News

The inflammasome: an inflammation-initiating machine, Novus Biologicals

Wednesday, October 10, 2018 - 09:34
ASC/TMS1 expression in Hela cells ICC

By Stephanie Melchor

The inflammasome is a large, multimeric protein complex found primarily in innate immune cells, which are white blood cells that can attack a wide range of pathogenic threats. Three main elements make up the inflammasome: 1) the sensor – a cytosolic pattern recognition receptor that senses pathogen- or damage-associated molecular patterns (PAMPs and DAMPs), 2) an adaptor protein called ASC, and 3) a caspase effector that cleaves and activates pro-IL-1 beta and pro-IL-18.

Prior to inflammasome activation, a cell must first be "primed" with...

Epigenetic Control of Autophagy

Tuesday, October 9, 2018 - 08:48
G9a expression in human MCF7 cell line ICC

By Christina Towers, PhD.

In the last 20 years, epigenetic regulation has become front and center for almost all fields of biology and its role in diseases like cancer and neurodegeneration are being heavily studied. Epigenetics can be defined as a change in phenotype without a change in genotype that is caused by remodeling the chromatin landscape and is often mediated by changes in histone marks, like methylation, acetylation, phosphorylation, SUMOylation, ubiquitination, and glycosylation to name a few. The cellular recycling process of autophagy is among one of the many processes...

Bad news for stomach cancer: BAMBI protein inhibits gastric carcinoma via TGF-beta/epithelial-mesenchymal transition signaling

Tuesday, October 2, 2018 - 09:03
Collagen-I expression in rat colon tissue IHC

By Jamshed Arslan Pharm.D.

Gastric carcinoma is the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths worldwide. One of the key features of gastric carcinoma is acidosis, which promotes growth and metastasis of gastric cancer cells by inducing HIF-1alpha, TGF-beta, and epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) signaling pathways. Gastric cancer cells have a reduced expression of bone morphogenetic protein and activin membrane-bound inhibitor (BAMBI), a pseudoreceptor that negatively regulates TGF-beta signaling by inhibiting the...

Chemotherapy-induced metastasis: An unexpected foe?

Tuesday, September 25, 2018 - 09:02
Mena plasma membrane, cytosol and focal adhesion expression in human cell line U-2 OS ICC

By Yoskaly Lazo-Fernandez, PhD


Evidence has accumulated recently indicating that common cancer therapies might stimulate metastasis in a significant number of cancer patients1. In fact, neoadjuvant chemotherapy (NAC) drugs, which are administered preoperatively as a first line of treatment, have been associated with increased infiltration of endothelial progenitor cells and macrophages in primary tumors, resulting in higher angiogenesis and tumor regrowth2. Mechanisms by which these cellular injury responses induce metastasis, both in preclinical in vivo models, and in human...

Advancing CAR T Therapies with CRISPR/Cas9

Tuesday, September 18, 2018 - 09:27
Expression of CD4 and CD8 in peripheral blood mononuclear cells ICC

By Victoria Osinski

Scientists have turned to gene editing techniques to modify patients’ T cells to combat cancer, but are often limited by factors including cost, low cell yields, or availability of expertise for therapy development. Interest lies in developing “off-the-shelf”, universal, donor cells, which require thorough T cell modifications to make this approach safe and feasible. Currently, scientists are leveraging the use of the gene editing tool clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR)/Cas9 system to advance CAR T therapies.

"Off-the-shelf" donor T cells requires a combinatorial approach


How a cell "reaches" out for help

Tuesday, September 11, 2018 - 09:30
Expression of alpha-synuclein in rat neuron-glial cultures ICCchloroquine-treated, ICC

By Christina Towers, PhD.

Parkinson's disease is a debilitating neurodegenerative condition defined by the accumulation of alpha-synuclein-containing (alpha-SYN) intra-cytoplasmic inclusions, called Lewy bodies. The protein degradative processes of autophagy, and most specifically chaperone mediated autophagy and mitophagy, play an important protective role against this disease by targeting neurotoxins for lysosomal mediated degradation1. Alpha-SYN neurotoxins most commonly affect neurons, but they can also...

Combined NOTCH/MAPK inhibition: A promising new anticancer approach

Tuesday, September 4, 2018 - 11:23
MAPK signaling pathway Novus Biologicals

By Yoskaly Lazo-Fernandez, PhD


Cancer invasion requires cancerous cells to overpower the barriers of the extracellular matrix and reach adjacent tissues. Invading cells undergo a process called epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT), which enables them to dedifferentiate into a highly invasive mesenchymal stem cell-like phenotype. Interestingly, once the cells have reached their new location through metastasis, they undergo a reverse process named mesenchymal-epithelial transition (MET) which allows the solid tumor to reorganize in the distant organ.

Molecular pathways involved in cancer invasion have thus become important targets for anticancer...

Rescuing motor neuronal loss in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis by inhibiting phosphatidylinositol-4 kinase

Tuesday, August 28, 2018 - 08:58
Novus C. elegans antibodies

By Jamshed Arslan Pharm.D.

Motor neurons control our ability to speak, walk, swallow, and even, breath. People with a motor neuron disease called amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) cannot perform these primal functions optimally. A point mutation (P56S) in VAMP associated protein isoform B (VAPB), a protein associated with the membrane around the endoplasmic reticulum, causes late-onset familial ALS8 by prompting VAPB to aggregate and lose its job of preventing buildup of abnormal proteins. To study ALS8, C. elegans is one of the animals of choice due to its simple neurophysiology: a single worm has only 302 neurons and 113 of them are...

Measuring Autophagic Flux with LC3 protein levels: The do's and don'ts

Tuesday, August 21, 2018 - 08:50
Expression of p62/SQSTM1 in HeLa cells mock- or chloroquine-treated, ICC

By Christina Towers, PhD.

Autophagy is a dynamic cellular recycling process that can be influenced by many different external and internal stimuli. The most commonly used assay to measure autophagy is a western blot for the autophagic membrane-specific protein, LC3. While this assay is relatively simple, if not controlled properly, the results can easily be misinterpreted. Indeed, the most accurate way to measure autophagy is with an autophagic flux assay defined as the new formation of double-membrane vesicle-like structures called autophagosomes and their...

Knockout Validation and the Reproducibility Crisis

Tuesday, August 14, 2018 - 09:34
Vimentin expression in K562 leukemia cell line ICC

By Colin O'Neill, 2018 Novus Intern

The specificity and affinity of an antibody for its target protein—and only its target is valued as an indicator of its experimental reliability. The frustrating ability of an antibody to bind to multiple proteins has prompted a reproducibility crisis in the life science community. Specifically, if an antibody varies in specificity between batches, attempts to reproduce significant findings with that antibody may fail. With samples, time, and funding at stake, scientists have developed novel validation techniques to ensure antibodies solely bind to their intended targets to avoid false positives and ambiguous results. Nature's 2015 article...

Eat responsibly: Epigenetic downregulation of Ankrd26 gene by long-term high-fat intake promotes obesity and inflammation

Tuesday, August 7, 2018 - 08:38
DNTM3A expression in human cell line A-431 ICC

By Jamshed Arslan Pharm.D.

White adipose tissue (WAT) represents the primary site to store energy in humans. WAT’s endocrine regulation of energy balance is controlled by nutritional status, exercise, and hormones like insulin. Partial inactivation of a gene highly expressed in WAT, called Ankrd26, induces obesity and diabetes in mice. Moreover, feeding mice high-fat diet (HFD) has been suggested to cause Ankrd26 promoter hyper-methylation, an epigenetic mechanism of gene silencing. Working along these lines, a team of researchers from Italy and USA set out to elaborate how HFD can epigenetically...

You complete me: Natural killer cells need TGF-beta inhibition to effectively combat cancers

Tuesday, July 31, 2018 - 08:22
TGF-beta signaling pathway

By Jamshed Arslan Pharm.D.

Natural killer (NK) cells are lymphocytes of the innate immune system that were first discovered for their “natural” ability to kill cancer cells. To use NK cells as anti-cancer therapy, they are co-cultured with feeder cells that are sensitive to attack by NK cells. The killing of feeder cells in turn generates highly efficient tumor-killing NK cells. However, a major challenge in using these ex vivo expanded NK cells as anti-cancer therapy is the highly immunosuppressive tumor microenvironment, partly because the cancer cells, myeloid derived suppressor cells and other stromal cells produce excessive amounts of...

Meningeal lymphatics: recent discovery defying the concept of central nervous system 'immune privilege'

Tuesday, July 24, 2018 - 08:57
Regulation Of Lymphangiogenesis Pathway Bioinformatics

By Jennifer Sokolowski, MD, PhD.

Identification and characterization of meningeal lymphatics

The recent discovery of a lymphatic system in the meninges surrounding the brain and spinal cord has spurred a surge of interest in and has redefined our understanding of immunity in the central nervous system (CNS).1,2 The lymphatic system in the brain is composed of the glymphatic system and meningeal lymphatic vessels.3 The glymphatic system involves convective flow of cerebral spinal fluid and interstitial fluid and uses para-arterial flux to clear solutes and metabolites from the brain parenchyma. In concert, the meninges harbor bona...

Monitoring Autophagy in Neurons

Tuesday, July 17, 2018 - 08:49
Beclin 1 expression in human cerebellum, Purkinje cells IHC

By Christina Towers, PhD.

Autophagy is a critical cellular process used by most cells in the body to recycle nutrients and prevent harmful buildup of damaged proteins. It is particularly important in the brain, where a handful of pathologies have been linked to autophagy dysregulation. Conditional neuronal knock out of the core autophagy gene, ATG7, results in viable mice that eventually succumb to neurodegeneration accompanied by an accumulation of ubiquitin protein aggregates1, 2. Likewise, decreased levels of functional autophagy have been linked to the three most common neurodegenerative diseases including...

Antigen-loss relapse after successful CAR-T therapy; What do we do now?

Tuesday, July 10, 2018 - 08:30
Acute lymphoblastic leukemia disease bioinformatics

By Jacqueline Carrico, BS, MD

Tumor cell mechanisms driving tolerance to CAR-T

Despite very promising results of CAR-T therapy in acute lymphoblastic leukemia, B-ALL, antigen-loss relapse has arisen as a major challenge for maintaining long term remission. Here we will review the potential mechanisms for antigen-loss relapse and some novel strategies to combat this problem.

One possible mechanism for antigen loss is downregulation of expression of the target protein in the malignant cells. Constant therapeutic stress from the highly-targeted CAR T-cells may lead to this phenomenon. Additionally, tumor...

Developmental regulator Daam2 promotes glial cell tumors by degrading Von Hippel-Lindau protein

Tuesday, July 3, 2018 - 08:35
GFAP expression neuron glia mixed culture ICC

By Jamshed Arslan Pharm.D.

Glioblastoma is an aggressive type of cancer that forms from the star-shaped glial cells of the central nervous system, called astrocytes. Intriguingly, several genes linked to glioblastomas, including the gene for the tumor suppressor Von Hippel-Landau protein (VHL), do not exhibit mutations. VHL prevents tumorigenesis by binding and modulating the function of hypoxia-inducible factor HIF-1 alpha and hydroxylated serine-threonine kinase Akt. Developmental processes that maintain cells in a...

MAPK Signaling Links Autophagy and Inflammation

Tuesday, June 26, 2018 - 09:53
Autophagy signaling pathway

By Christina Towers, PhD.

MAPK Signaling and Disease

Mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs) are serine-threonine kinase signaling molecules that function in a variety of cellular processes including cell differentiation, proliferation, survival, death, and transformation.  In mammals, there are 3 subfamilies of MAPKs including ERK, p38, and c-Jun each containing multiple isoforms. The MAPK signaling cascade is mediated by an upstream MAP3K which phosphorylates and activates a MAP2K which in turn activates a MAPK...

Autophagy Inhibition in Cancer: Clinical Trials Update

Tuesday, June 19, 2018 - 10:43
Autophagy signaling pathway

By Christina Towers, PhD.

Autophagy mediates the recycling of damaged cellular material into building blocks like amino acids and other necessary nutrients that can fuel metabolism and cell growth, especially under nutrient depleted conditions. There are currently over 60 clinical trials reported on that are either completed or on-going using autophagy inhibition, mostly in combination with other targeted therapies. Autophagy has a pro-tumorigenic role in established tumors and consequently the vast majority of clinical trials focus on autophagy inhibition in cancer. Over the last decade, a dozen Phase I and I/II clinical trials...

Adenosine Inhibits T cell Tumor Infiltration: KCa3.1, a New Anticancer Target

Tuesday, June 12, 2018 - 11:47
CD8 alpha antibody, ICC

By Yoskaly Lazo-Fernandez, PhD

Role of Adenosine in the Tumor Microenvironment a Target for Cancer Therapy

The tumor microenvironment (TME) tends to be concentrated in the purine nucleoside adenosine, a direct result of the hypoxia normally associated with cancer. Extracellular adenosine binds to its receptor, A2A receptor (A2AR), in the surface of lymphocytes and other immune cells resulting in anti-inflammatory and immunosuppressive responses1 which correlate with higher tumor progression and poor prognosis in cancer patients2. Extracellular adenosine accumulation...

Crosstalk Between Oxidative Stress and Autophagy

Tuesday, June 5, 2018 - 11:10
Autophagosome and lysosome fusion

By Christina Towers, PhD.

Role of Reactive Species in Cellular Function

Oxidative stress is a byproduct of an imbalance between oxidants and antioxidants present in the cell resulting in dysfunctional redox signaling. This disproportion is caused by naturally occurring reactive oxygen species (ROS) and reactive nitrogen species (RNS) that can be derived from either extracellular sources or intracellularly as byproducts of essential cellular processes like metabolism. These species oxidize and remove electrons from the molecules they interact with including many kinds of biomolecules which can be detrimental to overall cellular function1. For example, ROS can induce...

Novel Approaches to Improve Efficacy and Safety of CAR-T Therapy

Tuesday, May 29, 2018 - 08:44
CAR-T Therapy

By Jacqueline Carrico, BS, MD Candidate

Given the rapid advances in CAR-T therapy, there have been major efforts to improve the specificity and safety of these therapies. Very few targets exist that are only expressed in the malignant cell population, resulting in on-target/off-tumor toxicities. Most have been minor and controllable; however, several trials have been terminated due to severe and life-threatening toxicities. There is increasing concern about this problem with dually targeted therapies, such as dual-CAR or tandem CAR.

Synthetic Notch Receptors

One approach to increasing on-tumor specificity is the development of CAR-T cells that express synthetic...

Lysosomal Dysfunction is Linked to Exosomal Secretion

Tuesday, May 22, 2018 - 09:50
CAR-T Poster

By Christina Towers, PhD.

Lysosomal Dysfunction and Disease

Lysosomes are highly acidic organelles that are critical for cellular function and indispensable for degradative pathways like autophagy and endocytosis.  There are a number of different diseases that have been associated with lysosomal dysfunction, the most detrimental being neurological disorders including Huntington's Disease, Alzheimer's disease, and Parkinson's disease.  Other rare neurological diseases like Niemen-Pick disease Type C (NPC) have been directly linked to familial-mutations in endolysosomal genes.  All of these disorders are attributed to a buildup of the detrimental...

Targeting Success in CAR-T Therapy for Solid Tumors

Tuesday, May 15, 2018 - 09:40
CAR-T poster

By Jacqueline Carrico, BS, MD Candidate

Targeting Success in CAR-T Therapy for Solid Tumors

Developing successful CAR-T therapy requires identification of specific tumor-associated antigens, as the primary target for CAR-T binding and activation. Some solid tumors have well-characterized oncogenes which play a pivotal role in tumor cell proliferation, migration, and survival. These oncogenes are ideal targets for CAR-T therapy, particularly when the oncogene is expressed at low levels in normal tissues.

Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor (EGFR)

The tyrosine kinase receptor EGFR, is aberrantly expressed in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC),...

Mitochondrial ATPase inhibitory factor 1 (IF1) provides an explanation of cancer growth in anoxia or pseudo-anoxia

Tuesday, May 8, 2018 - 09:29
ATPase inhibitor factor 1 antibody ICC

By Jamshed Arslan Pharm.D.

Adenosine triphosphate (ATP) is the major life’s energy-carrying molecule. It is mainly produced by mitochondrial ATP synthase (Complex V) through oxidative phosphorylation (Oxphos). For example, Oxphos-dependent oxidation of a glucose molecule generates about 30 molecules of ATP. In Oxphos, respiratory chain (r.c.) complexes catalyze the transfer of electrons from energy-rich molecules (NADH or FADH2) to oxygen (O2) and...

TGF-beta for treating degenerative intervertebral disc disease

Tuesday, May 1, 2018 - 09:32
TGF-beta poster

By Jamshed Arslan Pharm.D.

Our upright posture and balance depend on a jelly-like material, called nucleus pulposus (NP), in the middle of intervertebral discs. NP cells protect us from disc degeneration by maintaining optimal amounts of proteoglycans (proteins bonded to glycosaminoglycans) in the NP matrix. This process can be facilitated by TGF-beta, which stimulates the synthesis of sulfated glycosaminoglycan (sGAG) and chondroitin sulfate proteoglycan 1 in the NP cells. The synthesis of sGAG depends on chondroitin polymerizing factor (ChPF), an enzyme that extends the chondroitin sulfate (CS) backbone in sGAG. However, the...


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