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Traffic. 2003 Nov;4(11):739-53.

Recombinant antibodies against subcellular fractions used to track endogenous Golgi protein dynamics in vivo.

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CNRS UMR144, Institut Curie, 26 rue d'Ulm 75248 Paris cedex 05 France.


Generation of specific antibodies against enriched subcellular fractions is a powerful strategy to identify and characterize cellular components. We show that recombinant antibodies can be selected in vitro by phage display against complex subcellular fractions, namely microtubule-binding proteins and Golgi stacks. This technique has allowed us to overcome many limitations of the classical animal-based approach and generate cell biology-compliant antibodies. In addition, we show that intracellular expression of GFP-tagged recombinant antibodies can reveal the dynamics of endogenous proteins in vivo. Endogenous Giantin is very static and outlines the Golgi in living cells. It accumulates neither onto Golgi-derived tubules upon Brefeldin A treatment before Golgi disappearance, nor onto de novo formed Golgi mini-stacks upon microtubule depolymerization, and remains instead on the 'old' pericentriolar Golgi. This suggests that, in contrast to other Golgi matrix proteins, endogenous Giantin is very stably associated with the Golgi and does not efficiently recycle to the ER. Altogether, we show that the antibody phage display technique represents an efficient alternative to rapidly generate versatile antibodies that represent new tools to study protein function.

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