Carbohydrate Antibodies

Wouldn’t it be sweet to be able to make antibodies against sugars?

The exterior cell wall of microbial pathogens are often coated in unique sugars to protect themselves from the environment. These unique polysaccharides can serve as biomarkers for infection or be the target of therapeutics. (1,2

Antibodies are not often developed against polysaccharides, as these molecules are not retained well in the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) to be presented to T- or B-cells. (3) As a result generating antibodies against these targets can be difficult and projects are often abandoned on the premise of being too difficult to pursue. In some cases, the alternative to using antibodies may be to use lectins. Lectins are a class of proteins that bind semi-specifically to polysaccharides and can occasionally serve the purpose of a study. (4)

However, specific antibodies with high affinity are more ideal to use than lectins. As such, a method has been developed to develop anti-polysaccharide antibodies. As mentioned above, the main hurdle to overcome is to secure the polysaccharide in the MHC binding pocket to be presented to B-cells and induce anti-polysaccharide antibody production. To this end, polysaccharides are conjugated to peptides or proteins, the peptide will be retained in the MHC and the conjugated polysaccharide will be jointly presented to B-cells. (5)  Following the harvesting of B-cells, the anti-polysaccharide specific antibodies can be selected for. This technique has led to the development of monoclonal antibodies that can recognize an epitope as small as a monosaccharide. (6)

The possibility of making polysaccharide specific antibodies is not as difficult as you may think. Here at MediMabs we have had great success at making these types of antibodies, do not hesitate to contact us to find out more.

Written by
MédiMabs’ Team
Change my preferences

We use cookies to facilitate your navigation and enable certain features. You can see detailed information about all cookies in each consent category below.

Functional cookies (Required)

These cookies are essential for the proper functioning of our website; that’s why you can’t delete them.

Statistical cookies

These cookies allow us to know the use made of our site and its performance, to establish usage statistics and to determine the volumes of attendance and use of the various elements.

Advertising cookies

These cookies are used to provide visitors with personalized advertisements based on previously visited pages and to analyze the effectiveness of the advertising campaign.

Confirm my selection

This site uses cookies, deposited by our website, in order to improve your browsing experience. For more information on the purposes and to customize your preferences by type of cookies used, please visit our privacy policy page.

Accept all
Manage my preferences