Antibodies are used extensively for a wide range of basic research and clinical applications. While an abundant and diverse collection of antibodies to protein antigens have been developed, good monoclonal antibodies to carbohydrates are much less common. Moreover, it can be difficult to determine if a particular antibody has the appropriate specificity, which antibody is best suited for a given application, and where to obtain that antibody. Herein, we provide an overview of the current state of the field, discuss challenges for selecting and using antiglycan antibodies, and summarize deficiencies in the existing repertoire of antiglycan antibodies. This perspective was enabled by collecting information from publications, databases, and commercial entities and assembling it into a single database, referred to as the Database of Anti-Glycan Reagents (DAGR). DAGR is a publicly available, comprehensive resource for anticarbohydrate antibodies, their applications, availability, and quality
Monoclonal antibodies have transformed biomedical research and clinical care. In basic research, these proteins are used widely for a myriad of applications, such as monitoring/detecting expression of biomolecules in tissue samples, activating or antagonizing various biological pathways, and purifying antigens. To illustrate the magnitude and importance of the antibody reagent market, one commercial supplier sells over 50 000 unique monoclonal antibody clones. In a clinical setting, antibodies are used frequently as therapeutic agents and for diagnostic applications. As a result, monoclonal antibodies are a multibillion dollar industry, with antibody therapeutics estimated at greater than $40 billion annually, diagnostics at roughly $8 billion annually, and antibody reagents at $2 billion annually as of 2012
Perspectives on Anti-Glycan Antibodies Gleaned from Development of a Community Resource Database
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Jeffrey C. Gildersleeve, Ph.D.
The Gildersleeve group works at the interface of chemistry, glycobiology, and immunology. We use chemical approaches to 1) aid the design and development of cancer and HIV vaccines, 2) identify clinically useful biomarkers, and 3) better understand the roles of carbohydrates in cancer and HIV immunology. To facilitate these studies, we have developed a glycan microarray that allows high-throughput profiling of serum anti-glycan antibody populations.
Areas of Expertise
Center for Cancer Research
National Cancer Institute
Building 376, Room 208
Frederick, MD 21702-1201
email@example.com (link sends e-mail)
The Gildersleeve group works at the interface of chemistry, glycobiology, and immunology. We use chemical approaches to 1) aid the design and development of cancer and HIV vaccines, 2) identify clinically useful biomarkers, and 3) better understand the roles of carbohydrates in cancer and HIV immunology. To facilitate these studies, we have developed a glycan microarray that allows high-throughput profiling of serum anti-glycan antibody populations. A number of other groups have also developed glycan arrays; our array is unique in that we use multivalent neoglycoproteins as our array components. This format allows us to readily translate array results to other applications and affords novel approaches to vary glycan presentation.
The main focus of our current and future research is to study the roles of anti-glycan antibodies in the development, progression, and treatment of cancer. These projects are shedding new light on how cancer vaccines work and are uncovering new biomarkers for the early detection, diagnosis, and prognosis of cancer. In particular, we are studying immune responses induced by PROSTVAC-VF, a cancer vaccine in Phase III clinical trials for the treatment of advanced prostate cancer. In addition, we are identifying biomarkers for the early detection and prognosis of ovarian and lung cancer. These projects are highly collaborative in nature and are focused on translating basic research from the bench to the clinic. We rely heavily on glycan array technology to study immune responses to carbohydrates, and we continually strive to improve this technology. First, carbohydrate-protein interactions often involve formation of multivalent complexes. Therefore, presentation is a key feature of recognition. We have developed several new approaches to vary carbohydrate presentation on the surface of the array, including methods to vary glycan density and neoglycoprotein density. Second, we use synthetic organic chemistry to obtain a diverse set of tumor-associated carbohydrates and glycopeptides to populate our array.
Collaborations and Carbohydrate Microarray Screening. We are frequently asked to screen lectins, antibodies, and other entities on our array. Although we are not a core facility and do not provide screening services per se, we are happy to collaborate on many projects. Please contact Jeff Gildersleeve for more details.
Scientific Focus Areas:
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Dr. Eric Sterner, a postdoctoral CRTA Fellow in the Gilderlseeve Lab was presented with a FARE award for his abstract entitled, “Profiling Mutational Significance in Germline-to-Affinity Mature 3F8 Variants” in the NIH-wide FARE 2016 competition. This award is given to abstracts that are deemed outstanding based on scientific merit, originality, experimental design and overall quality and presentation. FARE 2016 is sponsored by the NIH Scientific Directors, the Office of Intramural Training & Education and FelCom. The FARE 2016 Award is a $1000 travel grant to attend and present this work at a scientific meeting within the United States.
Postbaccalaureate Fellow – Cancer Research Training Award (CRTA) at National Cancer Institute (NCI)
June 2015 – Present (1 year 1 month)Frederick, Maryland
September 2014 – May 2015 (9 months)College Park, Maryland
– Ran on section of the Organic Chemistry I laboratory course for two semesters
– Worked with students in a laboratory setting and office hours to help them understand course materials and experimental procedures
– Worked with professors and other TAs to help develop and grade examinations
June 2013 – August 2013 (3 months)Groton, Connecticut
– Used protein crystallization to research ligand binding in a protein kinase system
– Learned a variety of laboratory techniques, including: expression and purification of proteins, and various protein crystallization techniques
– Gained a basic knowledge for how to interpret electron density maps used in three-dimensional protein structure determination
– Presented my research project at an internal poster presentation
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