making antibodies to low antigenicity proteins

Roland J Saldanha rsaldanh at
Sun Mar 6 01:16:22 EST 1994

Several usefull methods for increasing the antigenicity of proteins may be 
found in "Antibodies a Laboratory Manual" by Ed Harlow and David Lane.  This is
published by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory.
The methods suggested do include the one you suggested - immunising with immune
complexes formed by the antigen of interest and a previous antibody that you 
might have.  The basis of the enhancement is that the antibody complex 
stimulates phagocytosis of the antigen .  They suggest that the antibody should
be " as close as possible to the species used for the immunizations".  They 
further suggest that this is of utility when one has antibodies to say 
denatured antigen and wants native or wants to mask an epitope to allow an 
immune response against other epitopes.  For your particular application - 
enhancing a response against short peptides this will be of limited utility 
though other methods like coupling to other proteins, red blood cells, beads, 
and modifying the protein by coupling to DNP and arsanilic acid are suggested 
in the Antibody Manual.

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