Because they are able to recognize a particular cell marker — a protein — antibodies are generally used to identify abnormal cells in the body. As such, they play a key role in diagnosis, treatment and basic research.
At the Institut Curie, CNRS research scientists have recently prepared a new type of antibody which for the first time combines several crucial features: it can be produced in a few days, it can be expressed directly in cells, and it is, moreover, sensitive to the shape of proteins. The latter property is particularly important as the activity of proteins depends on their shape. Thus certain cancers or illnesses such as Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease are due to a protein that has assumed an abnormal shape.
This study, which constitutes a technological advance both for basic research and diagnosis, is published in the 9 May 2003 issue of Science.
All stages in the life of a cell are controlled by the activity of proteins. Proteins enable cells to produce energy, to reproduce and to interact with their environment. All these processes must be closely monitored to avoid pathological dysfunction.
Catherine Goupillon | alfa
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