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Hybridoma. 2000 Oct;19(5):375-85.

Generation of monoclonal antibodies to cryptic collagen sites by using subtractive immunization.

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University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Norris Cancer Center, Los Angeles 90033, USA.


The extracellular matrix (ECM) plays a fundamental role in the regulation of normal and pathological processes. The most abundantly expressed component found in the ECM is collagen. Triple helical collagen is known to be highly resistant to proteolytic cleavage except by members of the matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) family of enzymes. To date little is known concerning the biochemical consequences of collagen metabolism on human diseases. This is due in part to the lack of specific reagents that can distinguish between proteolyzed and triple helical forms of collagen. Here we used the technique of Subtractive Immunization (SI) to generate two unique monoclonal antibodies (MAbs HUIV26 and HUI77) that react with denatured and proteolyzed forms of collagen, but show little if any reaction with triple helical collagen. Importantly, HUIV26 and HUI77 react with cryptic sites within the ECM of human melanoma tumors, demonstrating their utility for immunohistochemical analysis in vivo. Thus, the generation of these novel MAbs not only identify specific cryptic epitopes within triple helical collagen, but also provide important new reagents for studying the roles of collagen remodeling in normal as well as pathological processes.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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