Navigation Links
Argonne Researchers Develop Method that Aims to Stabilize Antibodies

Technique could lead to improved detection, diagnostics capabilities

Argonne, IL (PRWEB) September 3, 2009 -- Researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy's Argonne National Laboratory have developed a systematic method to improve the stability of antibodies. The technique could lead to better biosensors, disease therapeutics and diagnostic reagents and non-laboratory applications, including environmental remediation.

Antibodies are proteins produced by humans and animals to defend against infections; they are also used to diagnose and treat some diseases and detect toxins and pathogens. "The primary issues with antibodies is that they are fragile and short-lived outside of cooler temperature-controlled environments, making their usefulness usually limited to laboratory applications," said Argonne senior biophysicist Fred Stevens, the project's principle investigator.

Specifically, "stabilized antibodies, with full functionality, could be used in diagnostic and detection kits that can survive in less than optimal environments and be stockpiled for years at a time," Stevens said. "They could be used to combat diseases like cancer. They can also be used as the basis for biosensors that can continuously detect for pathogens like botulinum, ricin and anthrax in places such as airports and subway stations - locations where it is not currently possible to provide ongoing detection of pathogens because antibodies cannot tolerate the environmental conditions."

Argonne has provided funding toward Stevens' research. Earlier research funded by the National Institutes of Health showed that it was possible to stabilize antibodies after a team led by Stevens unexpectedly discovered that natural antibodies contain stabilizing amino acid replacements.

Antibodies are made up of four polypeptides -- two light chains and two heavy chains. These chains are made up of modules known as constant and variable domains. The light and heavy chain each has a variable domain, which come together to form the antigen binding site. Because of the great diversity of amino acids in the variable domains, different antibodies are capable of interacting with an effectively unlimited number of targets.

Sometimes this variability comes at a price; the amyloid-forming light chains were less stable than their normal counterparts. However, even amyloid-forming light chains have amino acid substitutions that improve stability. When seven of these amino acid changes were introduced into an amyloid-forming variable domain, a billion-fold improvement in thermodynamic stability was obtained reflecting a much higher ratio of native protein folds to unfolded proteins - a major determinate of antibody shelf life.

"Our work at this detailed level has taught us that antibody stabilization was possible, but we needed to find out if antibodies could be stabilized without compromising their function and do so with moderate experimental investment," Stevens said. Recent work suggests these goals are potentially achievable. To proactively improve the stability of a different antibody variable domain, Argonne researchers drew up a short list of 11 candidate amino acid changes. Four of the amino acid changes improved antibody stability and when combined together in the original domain provided a 2,000-fold improvement in stability.

A follow up experiment using a functional antibody fragment was able to improve antibody stability comparably, with no loss of antibody functionality. Both experiments required approximately one month to accomplish instead of the potentially open-ended time required for most protein stabilization projects.

There is a correlation between thermodynamic stability and thermal stability, the billion fold improvement in thermodynamic stability increased the thermal resistance of the protein to heating, resulting in a "melting temperature" of about 160 degrees Fahrenheit. "However, still unanswered is whether it is possible to be confident about improving the stability of any antibody generated against a particular target," Stevens said. "Our research indicates that stabilization of antibodies is possible. We project that it could be possible to generate the data to guide stabilization of every future antibody in the near future."

Argonne's Office of Technology Transfer is actively seeking participation from industry for licensing as well as funding for further development of this technology.

Argonne National Laboratory seeks solutions to pressing national problems in science and technology. The nation's first national laboratory, Argonne conducts leading-edge basic and applied scientific research in virtually every scientific discipline. Argonne researchers work closely with researchers from hundreds of companies, universities, and federal, state and municipal agencies to help them solve their specific problems, advance America's scientific leadership and prepare the nation for a better future. With employees from more than 60 nations, Argonne is managed by UChicago Argonne, LLC for the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Science.

Angela Y. Hardin
(630) 252-5501
ahardin (at) anl (dot) gov


Read the full story at

Source: PRWeb
Copyright©2009 Vocus, Inc.
All rights reserved  

Related biology technology :

1. Argonne researchers win 2 R&D 100 Awards
2. Argonnes Lithium-Ion Battery Technology to be Commercialized by Japans Toda Kogyo
3. Argonne researcher studies what makes quantum dots blink
4. Argonne scientist to give the plenary talk at Royal Society of Chemistry meeting on nanoalloys
5. Researchers design new graphene-based, nano-material with magnetic properties
6. ChemBridge Corporation and Collaborative Drug Discovery Announce Strategic Collaboration to Provide Diverse Chemical Libraries Together With Researchers Own Private Data
7. Dartmouth researchers propose new way to reproduce a black hole
8. Nucleix Researchers Discover DNA Evidence May Easily be Falsified: Company Develops New Detection Technology for Preventing Biological Identity Theft
9. K-States Biosecurity Research Institute Gives Researchers the Tools Needed to Study Diseases That Cost Pig Producers Hundreds of Millions of Dollars Each Year
10. Sigma-Aldrich Acquires ChemNavigator, Inc., to Provide Researchers With Industry-Leading Chemical Compound Selection and Procurement Services
11. UCSF researchers help crack parasite genome, identify drug leads
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Argonne Researchers Develop Method that Aims to Stabilize Antibodies 
(Date:11/24/2015)... 2015 Cepheid (NASDAQ: CPHD ) today ... following conference, and invited investors to participate via webcast. ...      Tuesday, December 1, 2015 at 11.00 a.m. Eastern Time ...      Tuesday, December 1, 2015 at 11.00 a.m. Eastern Time ... New York, NY      Tuesday, December 1, 2015 ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... (PRWEB) , ... November 24, 2015 , ... ... maintain healthy metabolism. But unless it is bound to proteins, copper is also ... Health (NIH), researchers at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) will conduct a systematic study ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... Inc., a worldwide provider of clinical research services headquartered in ... has set a new quarterly earnings record in Q3 of 2015.  ... Q3 of 2014 to Q3 of 2015.   ... the establishment of an Asia-Pacific office to ... and Mexico , with the establishment ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... ... The Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA), led by its Executive Council, has ... Prix, to represent the First–Person View (FPV) racing community. , FPV racing has exploded ... of racing and several new model aviation pilots have joined the community because of ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
(Date:10/29/2015)... YORK , Oct. 29, 2015 ... technology, announced a partnership with 2XU, a global ... to deliver a smart hat with advanced bio-sensing ... and other athletes to monitor key biometrics to ... the strategic partnership, the two companies will bring together ...
(Date:10/27/2015)... 2015 Synaptics Inc. (NASDAQ: SYNA ), the ... has adopted the Synaptics ® ClearPad ® ... its newest flagship smartphones, the Nexus 5X by LG ... --> --> Synaptics works closely ... collaboration in the joint development of next generation technologies. ...
(Date:10/26/2015)... -- Delta ID Inc., a company focused on bringing secure ... announced its ActiveIRIS® technology powers the iris recognition feature ... NTT DOCOMO, INC in Japan . ... include iris recognition technology, after a very successful introduction ... 2015, world,s first smartphone to have this capability. ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):