Peptides alone are often too small to produce an antigenic immune response. Therefore, the production of anti-peptide antibodies needs to be coupled with large carrier proteins. When administered in the body, the immune system reacts to these peptide-protein conjugates to produce antibodies. As a leading service provider in the field of drug discovery and research, BOC Sciences provides global clients with protein-peptide conjugation services to promote your research.
Peptide-carrier protein coupling is often used to prepare anti-polypeptide antibodies. Peptides alone are usually too small to stimulate a sufficient immune response, while carrier proteins with many antigenic epitopes are conducive to stimulating helper T cells. further induce B cell immune response. The choice of coupling strategy becomes very important because the bound immunogen should present epitopes similar to those observed in natural proteins with the right direction and flexibility.
Examples of frequently used carrier proteins for peptide conjugates are listed here:
- KLH (keyhole cap hemocyanin) is the most commonly used carrier protein, which has higher immunogenicity compared with other proteins. KLH is commonly used in vertebrate research.
- BSA (Bovine serum albumin) is a commonly used weak antigenic compound carrier protein because it contains a large number of binding lysine residues.
- HSA (Human serum albumin)
- OVA (Ovalbumin) is a protein isolated from eggs. It is often used as a control carrier protein to verify whether the antibodies produced by KLH/BSA are specific to target peptide and carrier proteins.
The most common coupling method between peptides and proteins is based on mercapto Maleimide chemistry, which is a highly specific and robust reaction. Usually, synthetic peptides contain additional cysteine residues that can be added at the C-terminal or N-terminal. For coupling, mercaptan provided by cysteine is chemically selectively coupled to Maleimide modified carrier proteins.
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