Using Recombinant Proteins In Antibody Research

Mon, 12/21/2009 - 10:00

Recombinant proteins are those derived from recombinant DNA. Recombinant DNA is an artificial form of DNA, made by combining protein sequences which would not occur in their natural state.

Recently, we at Novus Biologicals have been developing recombinant bacterial proteins to reproduce existing products on our antibody database. Recombinant proteins are created from complementary cDNA libraries, which contain only DNA sequences that code for specific proteins. When this cDNA is expressed as a recombinant protein, it can be used in its purified form to perform studies into, for example, enzyme kinetics and NMR. The protein can also be used to create antibodies for further research – something which has been keeping our lab staff busy in recent times!

To take this further, if DNA sequences for certain genes are unavailable or not known, antibodies could be used for screening instead. However, to start, one must have an expression library – i.e. one that contains the DNA fragments of interest, and can use these fragments to create the protein those fragments encode, in a way that is recognized by the antibody. To do this, the cDNA fragment is inserted into organism-derived DNA – typically, the plasmid of a bacterium. This results in a recombinant protein.

E. coli is one of the most widely used hosts for recombinant DNA production, having been used in the landmark research studies of 1972 and continuously since then. Recently, much progress has been made in the transcription and translation of the gene sequences. We at Novus Biologicals are taking advantage of these new developments to extend our antibody database still further.

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