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Methods Enzymol. 2006;416:61-87.

Phage display-derived human antibodies against specific glycosaminoglycan epitopes.

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  • 1Department of Biochemistry, Raboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre, Nijmegen Centre for Molecular Life Sciences, The Netherlands.


Glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) are long unbranched polysaccharides, most of which are linked to a core protein to form proteoglycans. Depending on the nature of their backbone, one can discern galactosaminoglycans (chondroitin sulfate [CS] and dermatan sulfate [DS]) and glucosaminoglycans (heparan sulfate [HS], heparin, hyaluronic acid, and keratan sulfate). Modification of the backbone by sulfation, deacetylation, and epimerization results in unique sequences within GAG molecules, which are instrumental in the binding of a large number of proteins. Investigating the exact roles of GAGs has long been hampered by the lack of appropriate tools, but we have successfully implemented phage display technology to generate a large panel of antibodies against CS, DS, HS, and heparin epitopes. These antibodies provide unique and highly versatile tools to study the topography, structure, and function of specific GAG domains. In this chapter, we describe the selection, characterization, and application of antibodies against specific GAG epitopes.

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