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Epitope mapping is the experimental identification of the binding sites of antibodies on their target antigens. The mapping of epitopes is a fundamental step in the development of novel therapeutics, vaccines, and diagnostics. Epitopes are generally divided into two main types: linear and conformational. Linear epitopes are formed by a continuous sequence of amino acids in a protein, while conformational epitopes are composed of amino acids that are discontinuous in the protein sequence but are brought together upon three-dimensional protein folding. Many therapeutic monoclonal antibodies recognize conformational epitopes of target antigens, which are often represented by membrane proteins, receptors, or multi-subunit proteins.
High-resolution structure of the antibody/antigen (Ab/Ag) complex is the key to accurate epitope mapping. Historically, X-ray crystallography has been used to provide high-resolution information of antibody-antigen interactions, but it is costly and time-consuming, and requires large amounts of purified samples. To avoid these problem, Creative Biostructure is devoted to developing electron microscopy (EM) as a new method of mapping epitopes by single-particle analysis and three-dimensional reconstruction (3D-EM). Taking advantage of the EM platform, our scientists perform epitope mapping of antibody-antigen interactions with the following workflow:
Figure 1. Epitope mapping by 3D-EM
The advantages of using our EM platform for epitope mapping include sample-saving, rapid turn-around time, and cost-effective. Moreover, the entire process can be run manually, or in an automated way that can be completed within a few hours on a high-performance computer cluster. Creative Biostructure promises to work closely with our customers to provide tailored strategies for the epitope mapping of antibody-antigen complexes using 3D-EM technique.
Besides NMR, Creative Biostructure offers a field of structural biology for mapping protein epitopes, such as Epitope Mapping by crystallography and 3D-EM. Applications include epitope mapping, antibody engineering (affinity maturation and humanization), and protein engineering.
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