Today the team and I have released a brand new feature on CiteAb which makes it possible for researchers to filter results for recombinant antibodies.

The addition of a recombinancy filter makes it easier for researchers to limit their search results to show just recombinant antibodies.

This is an addition to other search filters we offer, including validation, application and reactivity, allowing researchers to find not only a well cited antibody, but one with the features and characteristics they require for their work.

A recombinant antibody is one that is produced in vitro by isolating and incorporating the genes which code for immune-specific heavy and light antibody chains into expression vectors, such as into plasmid DNA. These vectors are then introduced into expression hosts, such as bacteria or human cell lines, which then produce recombinant monoclonal antibodies[1].

The benefits of this are multiple:

Recombinant antibodies have greater reproducibility

  • As a recombinant antibody is defined by its sequence, researchers would be effectively using the ‘same’ antibody each time it is produced
  • The production is more controlled and therefore reliable, leading to a greater consistency of antibodies between batches
  • Researchers can therefore be more confident the recombinant antibody is going to bind to the desired epitope or structural determinant. However researchers should remain aware that an antibody being recombinant doesn’t make it more or less likely to bind
  • Supporters argue that the use of recombinant antibodies could increase the reproducibility of experiments, and therefore allow others to build upon findings creating a more productive research environment [2]

Validation is easier to carry out

  • A recombinant antibody should only require validating once per sequence, as antibodies with identical sequences will have similar reactivity profiles
  • It should be noted that this assumes the product has been produced under the same conditions and method [3]
  • To be clear, it is important to note that a non-validated recombinant antibody should not be considered an alternative or better than a validated antibody produced via traditional methods

Greater sensitivity can be achieved

  • The development process for recombinant antibodies allows manufacturers to screen for and identify the clones with the highest specificity and sensitivity to the desired target
  • Again, I want to be clear that even so, a recombinant antibody does not guarantee specificity or sensitivity

Expression can be carried out at scale

  • A significant benefit to suppliers is that once the antibody genes are isolated, expression can be carried out at any scale especially when utilisting laboratory automation [4]
  • Generally, recombinant antibody production is also quicker than the traditional hybridoma monoclonal antibody production

So far we have worked with Abcam and Thermo Fisher Scientific to add recombinant information to their product listings, and we’re grateful to them for their support in getting this new feature off the ground. For all of the other suppliers we work with, if we’ve not spoken to you already then do get in touch with us now to update your product listings to include this new information.

This is an exciting market with recombinant antibodies seeing year on year growth. Different areas are beginning to use recombinant antibodies because of their ability to solve problems around reproducibility and scalability. For example, therapeutic monoclonal antibody therapies use recombinant antibodies due to the highly specific targeting of antigens and the ability to produce human monoclonal antibodies being favoured over the problematic murine antibodies.

In future blogs we’ll drill deeper into our data for this market, looking at which suppliers are doing best out of recombinant antibodies, and which research institutions are using them most. Subscribe to our newsletter below to be kept up to date.

– Rhys and the CiteAb team

References:

[1]Bradbury A, Plückthun A. Reproducibility: Standardize antibodies used in research. Nature. 2015;518(7537):27–29. doi:10.1038/518027a
[2] Bradbury AR, Plückthun A. Getting to reproducible antibodies: the rationale for sequenced recombinant characterized reagents. Protein Eng Des Sel. 2015;28(10):303–305. doi:10.1093/protein/gzv051
[3] Bradbury AM, Plückthun A. Antibodies: validate recombinants once. Nature. 2015;520(7547):295. doi:10.1038/520295b
[4] Hornsby M, Paduch M, Miersch S, et al. A High Through-put Platform for Recombinant Antibodies to Folded Proteins. Mol Cell Proteomics. 2015;14(10):2833–2847. doi:10.1074/mcp.O115.052209