You must ALWAYS validate – and this is why

As you know, here at CiteAb we aim to help you find the best potential antibodies for your experiments, but that doesn’t mean that you don’t still need to validate them when you get them.

This need has recently been highlighted with the publishing of a new research paper by Sandra Andersson from the Department of Immunology, Genetics and Pathology at Uppsala University in Sweden.

Andersson and her colleagues recently published a paper titled ‘Insufficient antibody validation challenges oestrogen receptor beta research’, highlighting that a lack of attention to validation has delayed breast cancer research over the last twenty years.

The beta oestrogen receptor was discovered almost 20 years ago and thought to be a potential biomarker and target for breast cancer treatment. However, 20 years later there it is still not agreed where the protein is expressed.

In Andersson’s study, thirteen commercial antibodies were tested, and the only antibody to pass all the validation tests was a lesser used antibody raised by Perseus Proteomics and supplied by Invitrogen and R&D systems.

Dr Andrew Chalmers, founder of CiteAb, said: “Here at CiteAb we rank antibodies entirely by the number of citations in the published literature. Our aim is to use this simple and transparent method to help you identify the best potential antibodies for your experiments.

“We also provide links to make it easy for you to find out how well validated the antibodies are by looking at the supplier’s pages and in the published literature – again to help you pick the right antibodies.

“However, while this offers a fantastic starting point, once you have the antibody or antibodies in your laboratory there is no getting away from the need to validate them, with your applications, tissues and experimental conditions. This is the only way to ensure the antibody you have is up for the job.”

The validation process by Andersson’s research group included using positive and negative cell lines for the receptor in immunohistochemistry, western blotting and mass spectrometry.

The authors concluded that “inadequately validated antibodies can lead an exciting field astray” – a damning situation and one that must be avoided to ensure the progression of research is not stalled in other fields.

– Matt and the CiteAb team

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