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Methods Mol Biol. 2004;259:47-65.

Generation, use, and validation of receptor-selective antibodies.

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  • 1Department of Biochemistry, University College Cork, Ireland.


Antibodies have proved invaluable in the study of G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs). The utility of these immunoglobulin probes for investigation of protein structures and functions arises from their selectivity as well as their versatility. Antibodies can be used to analyze GPCR size, abundance, distribution, turnover, modification, interaction with other proteins, and functional properties. In this chapter, techniques for the generation and characterization of receptor-selective antibodies are described. Two protocols are given for the generation of antibodies: (1) development of polyclonal antibodies (PAbs) against synthetic peptides corresponding to a specific site within a GPCR and (2) selection of synthetic single-chain fragment variable (scFv) monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) from libraries expressed on the surface of bacteriophage. Immunoblot and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays for characterization of the selectivity and affinity of such antibodies are described. Finally, methods are given for improvement of the titer and specificity of PAbs.

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