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Hybridoma Technology

Published on Mar 12, 2016


Hybridoma technology is a technology of forming hybrid cell lines (called Hybridoma ) by fusing a specific antibody -producing B cell with a myeloma (B cell cancer) cell that is selected for its ability to grow in tissue culture and for an absence of antibody chain synthesis. The antibodies produced by the hybridoma are all of a single specificity and are therefore monoclonal antibodies (in contrast to polyclonal antibodies ).

The production of monoclonal antibodies was invented by Cesar Milstein , Georges J. F. Köhler and Niels Kaj Jerne in 1975.


Diagnostic tests:-

Once monoclonal antibodies for a given substance have been produced, they can be used to detect the presence of this substance. The Western blot test and immuno dot blot tests detect the protein on a membrane. They are also very useful in immunohistochemistry which detect antigen in fixed tissue sections and immunofluorescence test which detect the substance in a frozen tissue section or in live cells.

Monoclonal antibodies for cancer treatment:-

One possible treatment for cancer involves monoclonal antibodies that bind only to cancer cell-specific antigens and induce an immunological response against the target cancer cell. Such mAb could also be modified for delivery of a toxin, radioisotope, cytokine or other active conjugate; it is also possible to design bispecific antibodies that can bind with their Fab regions both to target antigen and to a conjugate or effector cell. In fact, every intact antibody can bind to cell receptors or other proteins with its Fc region.

Chimeric and humanized antibodies:-

One problem in medical applications is that the standard procedure of producing monoclonal antibodies yields mouse antibodies. Although murine antibodies are very similar to human ones there are differences. The human immune system hence recognizes mouse antibodies as foreign, rapidly removing them from circulation and causing systemic inflammatory effects. Such responses are recognised as producing HACA (Human Anti-Chimeric) antibody antibodies or HAMA (Human Anti-Mouse) antibodies.

A solution to this problem would be to generate human antibodies directly from humans. However, this is not easy, primarily because it is generally not seen as ethical to challenge humans with antigen in order to produce antibody; the ethics of doing the same to non-humans is a matter of debate. Furthermore, it is not easy to generate human antibodies against human tissues.

Various approaches using recombinant DNA technology to overcome this problem have been tried since the late 1980s. In one approach, one takes the DNA that encodes the binding portion of monoclonal mouse antibodies and merges it with human antibody-producing DNA. One then uses mammalian cell cultures to express this DNA and produce these half-mouse and half-human antibodies. (Bacteria cannot be used for this purpose, since they cannot produce this kind of glycoprotein.) Depending on how big a part of the mouse antibody is used, one talks about Chimeric antibodies or humanized antibodies.

'Fully' human monoclonal antibodies:-

Ever since the discovery that monoclonal antibodies could be generated in-vitro, scientists have targeted the creation of 'fully' human antibodies to avoid some of the side effects of humanised and chimeric antibodies. Two successful approaches were identified - phage display-generated antibodies and mice genetically engineered to produce more human-like antibodies.

One of the most successful commercial organisations behind therapeutic monoclonal antibodies was Cambridge Antibody Technology (CAT). Scientists at CAT demonstrated that phage display could be used such that variable antibody domains could be expressed on filamentous phage antibodies. This was reported in a key Nature publication.

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