antibodies to chemicals ?

Roger Burger sl061 at CC.USU.EDU
Wed Jun 15 12:40:44 EST 1994

>I am interested in the application of antibodies to immunoassays
>for relatively small organic molecules. Is there a database
>somewhere which summarizes what antibodies are available
>which respond selectively to, say, PAH's, or monomers
>such as styrene ?
>Looking through the catalogs and the literature, it seems
>that most antibodues are raised against other proteins.
>However, there are cases (PCB's, for example) where
>immunoassays have been implemented for non-biological
>analytes. Is there a vendor which specializes in
>these types of "anti-industrial" antibodies ?
>Ed Stokes
>ebstokes at crd.ge.com


The size of the molecules you are looking at will determine if an anitbody
can be developed against it.  Landsteiner, K. 1962.  "The specificity of
Serological Reactions", Rev. Ed. New, York, Dover Publications, describes
this phenomenon in detail.  Your molecule would be considered a hapten.  If
it is too small to illicit an antibody response in a rabbit then it can be
chemically attached to a carrier.  The combination will generate
antibodies, with the hapten acting as an antigenic epitope, providing the
specificity you would need for an antibody used in an ELISA assay.

Find a good immunology text and read about immunogenicity of molecules.  A
size of 5000-10000 MW seems to be the minimum range of anitigenic
molecules.  Other factors such as shape, structural components and
functional groups all play a role.  Angiotensin is only 1010 MW but is

Once you have antibody made against your molecule then it will react with
the hapten without the carrier molecule present.

Hope this helps


Roger A. Burger         E-mail: SL061 at cc.usu.edu
Research Immunologist
Center for Persons with Disabilities
Utah State University
Logan, UT  84322-6800
Voice: 801-7502042
FAX:  801-7502044

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