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Mapping antibody mutations in humans provide new opportunities for creating therapeutic antibodies

Published: 2017-11-15

Data from a new study on how antibodies are developed in humans can be utilized to improve the development of therapeutic antibodies for treating human diseases.

Antibodies are key effector molecules in health and disease as they harbor the ability to recognize specific molecular structures and, consequently, elicit immune responses. The demand for and use of artificially produced antibodies for treatment of medical conditions are now growing. This brings about needs for optimization of the antibodies in terms of efficacy and safety, as well as of genetic recombination procedures for creating them.

A novel study led by Mats Ohlin, Facility Director of the Human Antibody Therapeutics Facility at the SciLifeLab Drug Discovery and Development Platform, has successfully tracked the mutations that occur during natural antibody maturation. Genetic materials from bone marrow-derived cells of six individuals were analyzed in the study, i.a. through sequencing at the SciLifeLab National Genomics Infrastructure.

When comparing antibody-producing transcripts from matured B-cells with the germline (original) sequences of naïve B-cells, the researchers were able to identify several patterns of genetic diversification, a central feature of natural development of specific antibodies. This new knowledge framework can e.g. be used to improve genetic libraries for the making recombinant therapeutic antibodies.

Read the full paper in Frontiers in Immunology