Research ResourceBiochemistry

The Myc tag monoclonal antibody 9E10 displays highly variable epitope recognition dependent on neighboring sequence context

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Science Signaling  28 Jan 2020:
Vol. 13, Issue 616, eaax9730
DOI: 10.1126/scisignal.aax9730

Know thy antibodies

Knowing whether a given antibody is specific for its intended target or is sensitive to posttranslational modifications of that target is critical for interpreting experimental data generated with antibody reagents. Two Research Resources from the Ogris group highlight the importance of knowing the capabilities and limitations of antibody reagents. Frohner et al. found that various antibodies raised against the catalytic (C) subunit of protein phosphatase 2A (PP2A) were sensitive to methylation and phosphorylation of PP2A C, cross-reacted with related phosphatases, and failed to immunoprecipitate major subsets of trimeric holoenzymes. This implies that findings using a common commercial phosphatase assay kit that relies on one of these antibodies should be reevaluated. Schüchner et al. found that the recognition of Myc-tagged proteins by a widely used Myc-specific antibody varied depending on sequences adjacent to the tag. A Focus by Janes highlights the importance of systemic validation of research antibodies.

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