Antibody News

New MECP2 Study Suggests Important Link to GABA

Thursday, December 30, 2010 - 07:58

MECP2 antibodies are used in DNA methylation studies as well as research into Rett syndrome, a progressive neurological disorder caused by a mutation in the MECP2 gene. Now, a new study has been published by the laboratory where the Rett Syndrome gene was discovered, citing MECP2 as a critical factor in a number of other neurological conditions by its interaction with GABA. We at Novus Biologicals have an extensive neuroscience antibody catalog which includes MECP2 antibodies.

MeCP2 is a complex member of the MBD family of proteins, related by the presence of a methyl- CpG domain and the ability to bind specifically to methylated DNA. It is found in large concentrations in neurons, where it functions as a transcriptional repressor, silencing transcription by binding to methylated promoters; however antibodystudies have suggested it...

Bitter Taste Receptor Antibodies Used in New Bronchodilator Study

Thursday, December 23, 2010 - 07:55

As one of the world's leading antibody suppliers, Novus Biologicals has an expansive GPCR (G-protein coupled receptor) antibody catalog. Novus antibodies to the bitter taste receptor (TAS2R) have recently been used in a study on TAS2R bronchodilator activity in human airways.

The G-protein Gustducin plays an important role in the transduction of gustatory (taste) stimuli, especially with respect to bitter stimuli. TAS2R is linked to Gustducin and is thought to play a role in bitter taste detection. Antibody studies suggest it may mediate alpha gustducin expression and PLC-beta-2 activation, and be involved in TRPM5 gating.


Getting SHIP-shape Over Tumour Suppression

Thursday, December 16, 2010 - 07:53

PTEN antibodies have shown PTEN to be an important tumor suppressor and, in mutated form, a factor in cancer development. However, a recent study, led by Robert Rickert, shows that the SHIP gene may also be an important tumor suppressor in B-cell lymphomas. We at Novus Biologicals have an extensive range of PTEN and SHIP antibodies in our antibody catalog.

SHIP (SH2-containing inositol phosphatase) and PTEN (phosphatase and tensin homologue) antibodies are closely aligned, as both proteins have a similar function. PTEN is a lipid phosphatase which dephosphorylates phosphatidylinositol 3,4,5-trisphosphate (PIP3), forming phosphatidylinositol-4,5-bisphosphate (PI(4,5)P2.) SHIP is a haemopoietic-specific phosphatase which also hydrolyzes PIP3, but at a different position, producing phosphatidylinositol-3, 4-bisphosphate, or PI(3...

PTEN Antibodies and Cancer Research

Thursday, December 9, 2010 - 07:50

Phosphatase and tensin homologue (PTEN) antibodies are important tools for cancer research. PTEN is an important tumor suppressor but, in mutated form, is also expressed in a high number of cancers. We at Novus Biologicals have a wide PTEN antibody database, with 50 antibodies, proteins and lysates to choose from.

PTEN encodes a lipid phosphotase protein (a phosphatidylinositol-3, 4, 5-trisphosphate 3-phosphatase) which is involved in cell cycle regulation, controlling cell growth and proliferation. This also allows it to act as a tumor suppressor. The protein has a similar structure to the protein tyrosine phosphatases, a group of dual-specificity enzymes which regulate phosphorylation of cell-signalling cascades. However, it differs in showing preferential dephosphorylation, negatively regulating phosphatidylinositol-3, 4, 5-trisphosphate (PIP3) by...

"Freeze!" - Arrestin Antibodies Used in New Serotonin Syndrome Study

Tuesday, December 7, 2010 - 07:47

The beta-arrestin family regulate receptor binding of G-proteins, a group of seven transmembrane receptor proteins which includes the adrenergic, dopamine and serotonin receptors. Recently, arrestin antibodies were used in a study into Serotonin Syndrome, a hallucinogenic disorder which can follow SSRI (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor) use.

The beta-arrestin family are found at postsynaptic receptor sites, where they interact with GRK2 and GRK3 proteins to desensitize G-protein-coupled receptors, dampening the cellular response to stimuli such as hormones, neurotransmitters and sensory signals. For example, S-Arrestin/...

"Come Fly with Me" - New Drosophila Model Developed for Direct in Vivo Study of Histones

Monday, November 29, 2010 - 05:37

Forming the major protein component of chromatin, histones are essential to the structure and organization of chromosomes, forming the nucleosome around which DNA is packaged and wrapped.

Antibody studies have revealed histones undergo various posttranslational modifications which affect their interaction with DNA and nuclear proteins, allowing them to play diverse roles in biological processes such as cell division, gene regulation and DNA repair. For example, the outer “tail” of H3 and H4, and central core of H2A, H2B and H3 can undergo covalent modification via methylation, ubiquitination, phosphorylation and many other routes. These...

New Research Takes the "Gag" Off to Reveal HIV Secrets

Wednesday, November 24, 2010 - 05:35

Antibody studies into the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) centre around Gag, a highly complex polyprotein that has so far defied attempts to unravel its complex and varied modes of action. Now, a team from the NIST Center for Neutron Research have revealed a new model which has allowed the protein to be studied in far more clarity. The hope with antibody suppliers is that it will pave the way to understanding many more large, unfathomable proteins.

HIV1 antibodies have uncovered at least some of the complexities of the Gag protein, which performs highly complex tasks during viral assembly, twisting into convoluted shapes within the host cell. During the initial stages, membrane associations are formed which enable HIV genetic material to be transported to the cell membrane. The opposite end of the Gag protein becomes anchored here, elongating into a rod-like shape which helps form a barrier around the virion...

ATXN2 Identified as New Genetic Risk Factor for Lou Gehrig's Disease (ALS)

Friday, November 19, 2010 - 05:30

Ataxin antibodies are used in the study of autosomal dominant cerebellar ataxia (ADCA) diseases. These neurodegenerative disorders are highly heterogeneous, characterized by progressive, irreversible, atrophy of the cerebellum and spinal cord.

Ataxin 2 is encoded by the ATXN2 gene, mutation of which can lead to Spinocerebellar Ataxia Type 2 (SCA2). Recently, Ataxin-2 antibodies were used in an international study that showed ATXN2 to be a genetic risk factor in another neurodegenerative disorder - Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) or Lou Gehrig's disease. The mutation causing SCA2 is identified by expanded CAG repeats in the coding region of ATXN2. The expansion is extremely variable in size, but averages 34-52 repeats; it results in an elongated polyglutamine tract (called a polyQ expansion) in encoded Ataxin-2.


SEPT4 is Targeted to Prevent Stem Cell Cancers

Monday, November 15, 2010 - 05:28

The antibodies in our stem cell antibody catalog are used in many areas of research, from developing therapies to investigating cancer. These research areas are related, because although pluripotent stem cells have the potential to replace organ transplants and heal paralysis, they also have the potential to develop into cancerous cells. Now, researchers at the Rockefeller University have discovered a link between stem cell apoptosis and tumor development in mice.

Cancer stem cells (CSCs) have been identified in many human cancers. Antibody studies have shown CSCs can accelerate cell proliferation, increase DNA-repair mechanisms and block apoptosis. The development of stem cell marker antibodies to these proteins is an important area of CSC research.


New Study Links Tau Mutations to Microglial Immune Response

Monday, November 8, 2010 - 05:26

Tau proteins are abundant in the axons of neurons in the central nervous system (CNS), and play a key role in microtubule formation and stabilization. Antibody studies have identified six tau isoforms, all produced by alternative mRNA splicing of the MAPT gene. We at Novus Biologicals have nearly 50 antibodies matched to tau proteins on our antibody database.

Tau mutations can give rise to a number of neurodegenerative disorders, such as the taupathies. These are characterized by the formation of hyperphosphorylated filamentous aggregates, and tangles of paired helical filaments such as those found in the brain cells of Alzheimer’s disease patients.


CD Antibodies Uncover Markers for Rare Breast Cancer

Friday, October 29, 2010 - 07:11

We at Novus Biologicals have added several new products to our CD antibody database. The CD, or Cluster of Differential proteins are a family of type I transmembrane glycoproteins widely expressed in immune cell populations. These include B cells, thymocytes and peripheral T cells. Widely used as cell markers, a recent antibody study identified three CD proteins - CD44+, CD49fhi, and CD133hi – as new cell markers in an aggressive, but uncommon type of breast cancer.

The CD system was originally defined in 1982, at the First International Workshop and Conference on Human Leukocyte Differentiation Antigens (HDLAs). It was known that various research teams had succeeded in generating a large number of monoclonal antibodies targeting surface epitopes on white blood cells. The aim of the conference was to standardize the system, which was extended to include other cells...

The Heat is On: Heat Shock Proteins and the Link to Cancer

Monday, October 25, 2010 - 07:09

Novus Biologicals offers an extensive antibody catalog targeting heat shock proteins (HSPs). A large protein group covering a number of families, the HSPs are functionally related by their dramatic upregulation in response to stress. Stress triggers may include a rise in temperature or a similar environmental cause. Transcription is controlled by the heat shock factor, or HSF, protein family.

The heat shock proteins are found in all living organisms including bacteria and yeasts. They are of particular interest to oncology researchers as they are implicated in a number of cancers, in particular breast cancer – one of the biggest killers of women in the UK. The heat shock molecules on our antibody database are identified by the prefix HSP, followed by their molecular weight, which can range from 27 to over 140 kilodaltons in size. The three most widely studied proteins are...

Industrial Chemicals, Tumour Suppressor Genes and the Need for More Research

Wednesday, October 20, 2010 - 07:07

Human cancer research is the largest research area in our antibody database, with new oncogenes and cell lines being added all the time.

Cancer triggers come from many sources, with a worrying amount of evidence to suggest that chemicals we’re in contact with every day are largely to blame. Over 100,000 products exist today for which there is little, if any, safety data. Screening for carcinogens was unknown before the 1980s. So far, just 3000 of these chemicals have undergone screening – over 800 were mutagens or carcinogens. Obviously, much more research needs to be done!

Researchers tackle cancer from both angles; cause and prevention. Tumor suppressor antibody studies are an important part of this. Tumor suppressors are genes that reduce the likelihood of a cell becoming cancerous, by blocking the action or production of other proteins, such as growth factors and...

It's a Wiz: Merlin Antibodies Advance Hepatic Tumor Research

Friday, October 15, 2010 - 07:03

The NF2 gene, also known as “Merlin”, was discovered through studies into Neurofibromatosis Type II, a rare genetic disease which causes formation of non-malignant, but life-limiting, brain tumors. NF2 encodes a cytoskeletal protein involved in extracellular signalling (i.e. cell-to-cell). It is also known to act as a tumor suppressor to several membrane-bound growth factors, including the oncogene EGFR. We at Novus Biologicals have a large selection of antibodies and lysates in our catalog for Merlin studies.

Antibodystudies into EGFR have shown overproduction leads to several cancers, including hepatic cancer. A new study set out to look at the role NF2 plays in preventing formation of these...

The Magic of Merlin: Antibodies Point to New Role in Liver Cancer

Monday, October 11, 2010 - 06:59

The Merlin protein belongs to the ezrin/radixin/moesin (ERM) family of tumour suppressor proteins. Encoded by the rather less imaginatively named Neurofibromin 2 (NF2) gene, it is thought to play a role in extracellular signal transduction, linking the cell cytoskeleton with membrane-bound proteins and suppressing several receptors, including the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR). The Merlin antibodies in our antibody catalog are widely used in cancer studies, since overexpression of EGFR is known to cause several cancers.

NF2 itself can act as an oncogene - first discovered through its connection with neurofibromatosis 2, a rare genetic disorder. NF2 mutations can also cause neuronal tumors. Recently, a study led by a team of researchers from Massachusetts General Hospital revealed...

Next-Gen DNA Sequencing and SLC26A3 Research

Thursday, September 30, 2010 - 04:39

The SLC26A3, also known as DRA (downregulated-in-adenoma) gene is a member of the sulphate anion transporter family, serving an important role in the exchange and transport of chloride, bicarbonate and sulphate ions at plasma membrane sites. We at Novus offer a growing selection of antibodies, recombinant proteins, lysates and RNAi for SLC26A3 within our reagent database.

To date, more than 20 mutations of SLC26A3 are known to exist. One of which is responsible for the rare autosomal recessive disorder congenital chloridorrhea, or congenital chloride diarrhea (CLD). In September 2009, next-generation DNA sequencing was used to diagnose congenital chloride diarrhea, or CLD, in a patient previously thought to be suffering from the salt-wasting disease Bartter syndrome.

Antibody Therapies and the New Generation of DNA Sequencing

Monday, September 27, 2010 - 04:34

Our antibody database is primarily focused on protein-coding genes. Although they form only 1% of the total human genome, these important genes account for 85% of the mutations that lead to disease.

DNA sequencing (defining the sequence of the 4 base amino acids within the DNA strand) and then using antibodiesspecific to those sequences, is a vital part of disease research. Sanger sequencing is the standard for doing this. However, in 2007 a next generation (or next gen) sequencing technique was devised. Lauded as the biggest advancement in genomics since microarray technology, it has radically improved diagnostic research.

Sanger sequencing focuses on one gene or gene area at a time, producing long reads of 500 bases or more. By contrast, next-gen sequencing produces short reads of around 25 bases. However, hundreds or even thousands of reads can be produced from many areas of the genome at once. Multiplicity overcomes the error problems arising from short base...

How Genomic Research and Antibody Catalogs Work Together

Wednesday, September 22, 2010 - 04:32

Just 10 years after the first human genome was drafted, DNA sequencing has transformed the way we tackle serious diseases. By looking at individual genes and targeting their proteins with relevant antibodies, we have gained a far clearer understanding of how the body works at a molecular level, and the complex ways in which things can go wrong. As we delve further into these protein pathways, so the relevant antibody catalog are updated too.

DNA sequencing, the method of determining the order of the nucleotide bases (adenine, guanine, cytosine, and thymine) within the DNA molecule, is at the forefront of antibody research. Once we know the sequence of nucleotides, we can locate regulatory gene sequences, compare homologous genes from different species and identify mutations that might cause diseases such as cancer.

In 1974 Sanger, developed a method of DNA sequencing that has become the standard. Mimicking the natural process of DNA replication,...

The Advantages of Fluorescent Western Blotting

Thursday, September 16, 2010 - 04:28

Our antibody databaseincludes many thousands of proteins, and it is constantly being enriched. Modern developments mean that, whereas scientists would once have searched for one protein in a single sample, now they search for several – often simultaneously, and in minute quantities.

Western blotting is a standard antibodyassay technique, which for many years was governed by chemoluminescent signalling. This relies on a single light signal. In recent years, this has given way to fluorescence, which has a broad palette of fluorescent colors and thus can be used to screen several proteins simultaneously, quantifying their presence by means of a control.

An advance on this has been the development of phosphospecific antibodies, which when used alongside standard antibodiescan determine the fraction of phosphorylated to non-phosphorylated protein in a sample. Previously, the only way to do this was to strip and re-probe the blot, owing to the closeness of the two isoforms...

Time to Shine! - Developments in 30 Years of Western Blotting Technology

Monday, September 13, 2010 - 04:20

The vast majority of antibodies in our antibody catalog are suitable for Western blotting studies. Devised almost 30 years ago by W. Neal Burnette, it has become a standard assay wherever antibodies are used to detect proteins.

Western blotting was originally a method of transferring protein gels onto nitrocellulose membranes via electrophoresis - which is essentially how it remains today. However, much has also changed. Burnette’s original experiments involved the detection of murine leukaemia proteins using radioactive iodine-labelling to bind antibody molecules. Today, researchers use far safer methods!

One of the most common forms of Western blotting is detection by chemiluminescence, a technique for which many of our antibodies at Novus Biologicals have already been validated. In chemiluminescence, a secondary antibody (i.e. one targeting an area of a primary antibody, which is itself targeted to the protein of interest) is conjugated, or bound, to an enzyme. In...

Mending a Broken Heart: New SERCA2 Gene Therapy Fights Heart Disease

Monday, August 30, 2010 - 05:16

While many of the proteins on our antibody database are studied in relation to their expression in diseases; others become therapies in their own right. This is the case with SERCA2 (Sarcoplasmic reticulum Calcium-ATPase 2 pump), which recently hit the headlines as a treatment for severe heart failure.

SERCA2 is an enzyme that acts as a magnesium-dependent pump in the heart, adult epidermis and smooth muscle tissue. It catalyses ATP hydrolysis and is critical in controlling the transport of Ca2+ between the sarcoplasmic reticulum and the cytoplasm. There are two distinct isoforms: SERCA2a is expressed in cardiac and slow twitch skeletal muscle, where it regulates the contraction/relaxation cycle. SERCA2b is expressed in adult epidermal and smooth muscle tissue, where it performs a similar role.

In June 2010, researchers at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine successfully developed SERCA2a into a new gene therapy, which in Phase ll...

The Latest Research on IBR-type E3 Ubiquitin Ligases

Friday, August 27, 2010 - 05:14

E3 ubiquitin ligases are standards in most antibody catalogs. These proteins are essential to the process of ubiquitination, which is expressed in protein pathways throughout the body and is often linked to disease states. It is widely used as a biomarker, with ubiquitin antibodies being widely used to identify the protein accumulations (inclusion bodies) which occur in conditions such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and Huntington's disease.

The E3 ligases target specific proteins and are important in apoptosis and proteolysis. Their function is generally to assist polyubiquitination – the binding of multiple ubiquitin molecules to the same target protein – which is the signal for degradation (i.e. destruction) by the proteasome to begin. In...

Save Time & Money with High Quality Sandwich ELISA Kits

Wednesday, August 25, 2010 - 05:11

Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) is a widely used technique for detecting concentration of proteins, using enzyme tagged antibodies with which react with dyes to produce a colorimetric or fluorescent signal. Sandwich ELISA takes this one step further, by pre-coating plastic wells with a known concentration of a "capture" antibody which reacts specifically to the antigen under test. A secondary antibody is then applied, tagged with an enzyme.

Recently, we at Novus Biologicals added a range of Biosensis ELISA kits to our antibody catalog, covering a wide range of antigens important to human disease research. Among them is human BDNF - a protein which was recently in the news as it appeared to have a stress-reducing and possible tumor-reducing effect in cancerous mice subjected to exercise.

BDNF, or Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor, is a...

The Wise Old Fox: Forkhead Transcription Factors and Age-Related DAF-16 Studies

Monday, August 23, 2010 - 05:09

Orthologs are one of the classes of homolog genes. They occur in different species, but are linked by a common ancestral pathway. During evolution, they retain the same original function, irrespective of the species. Among the orthologs covered on our antibody databaseare those of the Forkhead Transcription Factor (FOX) superfamily of proteins.

Forkhead box O-class (FOXO) transcription factors are mammalian homologs of DAF-16, a protein which is known to be a lifespan regulator of the nematode worm Caenorhabditis elegans. Among the transcription factors we at Novus Biologicals have in our antibody catalog are FOXO1A, FOXO3A and FOXO4. In mammals they are linked to apoptosis,...

Quick, Easy & Hassle Free: The Convenience of Using Novus Antibody Kits

Friday, August 20, 2010 - 05:07

The best antibody suppliers offer far more than just individual peptides and reagents. They also supply a range of antibody kits which contain everything a scientist needs to perform a particular experiment in one convenient package. We at Novus Biologicals have an extensive range of such kits, including DNA purification, antibody purification, labeling, epitope tagging, colorimetric and ELISA kits. Recently, we have expanded our 96-well ELISA kits selection to include some of the most sensitive kits commercially available, guaranteed to produce a low...


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