The Recombinant Antibody Production Core (RAPC) provides custom recombinant monoclonal antibodies to academic researchers in Texas using a rapid, high-throughput, and cost-effective platform. The core serves as more than a fee-for-service core, they become your collaborators and consultants on selecting and targeting your antigen while also aiding in assay development to vet your antibodies with respect to antigen targeting, antibody specificity, and antibody affinity.
The McBride Lab developed a propriety method for isolating single-antigen-specific plasma cells following inoculation into mice. Cells are sorted, the immunoglobulin genes are amplified and sequenced, and the sequences are analyzed. Curated antibody-encoding genes are cloned into expression vectors for recombinant antibody production and purification. The antibodies can then be tested in collaboration with the end-user, using a number of assays based on user priorities. This process results in sequence-defined, recombinant antibodies in as few as 30-90 days. Many of the core's current customers are collaborators on longer-term projects.
Standard recombinant antibodies
Antibodies recognizing post-translational modification
Antibodies recognizing specific antigen conformations
Immunoglobulin gene cloning
Antibody validation assays based on client needs
Fluorescent, epitope, or affinity tags
Single chain antibodies
• Conversion of existing hybridoma cell lines to recombinant antibody production stocks
Development of new services and applications is driven by client needs. We are open to new research collaborations that will broaden our scope. Examples of ongoing and completed projects include:
• Antibody profiling of human tumors (e.g. melanoma, sarcoma, non-small cell lung cancer, ovarian cancer)
Profiling the immunoglobulin repertoire of tumor-associated B cells
Recapitulating antibodies expressed by tumor-associated B cells
Defining B cell clonal expansion, evolution, and selection
Comparing circulating B cell populations and tumor-associated B cell populations
• Developing human antibodies to cell surface targets
Production of cell-surface antigens for immunization
Potential for creating humanized mice to produce “human” antibodies
Developing candidate antibodies for therapeutic development
Our process uses state-of-the art equipment to generate sequence-defined, recombinant antibodies in as little as one month. We are able to rapidly isolate individual B cells using a BD FACS ARIA Fusion and ready the single cells for RT PCR using our epMotion liquid handler. PCR is accomplished rapidly using an Applied Biosystems Veriti 384-well thermocycler coupled with an Agilent Zag DNA Analyzer for parallel capillary electrophoresis for amplicon analysis. Selected, purified DNA samples are sequenced and selected, matched heavy and light chain genes are cloned into expression vectors before being co-electroporated into modified CHO cells using a BTX HT-100 high-throughput electroporation system. Antibody-expressing cells are grown in a Kuhner CO2 shaker-incubator and the expressed antibodies are harvested and purified with protein-A binding in automated 96-well format. Select users may also arrange to use specific pieces of core equipment for their own research, when not in use by core personnel.
Recombinant Antibody Production Projects
Our overall process includes several platforms that we used for isolation of single B cells, the recovery of immunoglobulin sequences by immunoglobulin profiling and sequence analysis, followed by cloning and expressing the immunoglobulin genes and purifying and testing the resulting recombinant antibodies.
Currently, we can perform immunoglobulin recovery on B cells isolated from patient tumor samples, peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs), and mouse spleens. Immunoglobulin profiling uses 5’ single-cell RNA-seq or B-cell receptor-seq. Sequences are analyzed using one or more methods, and the selected immunoglobulin-encoding sequences are cloned into expression vectors. The cloned genes are expressed in cells to recombinantly produce antibodies. The antibodies are then purified and tested in one or more assays.
In this example, we developed antibodies against gammaherpesvirus uracil DNA glycosylase that recognize the viral protein (vUNG) but not the related mouse protein. In our approach, we identify those cells that recognize the antigen of interest early in the process through a combination of antigen binding and fluorecence-activated cell sorting.
In this example, plasma cells expressing antibodies specifically recognizing a recombinant gammaherpes virus antigen (vUNG) inoculated into mice were separated from those displaying non-specific binding.
Finally, the immunoglobulin genes encoding the antibody heavy and light chains are cloned into expression vectors and transfected into cells that will secrete the antibodies.
The secreted antibodies are purified using a high-throughput, automated protein-A purification system. Antibody integrity is checked by SDS-PAGE, and the antibodies are characterized in a downstream assay, in this case an ELISA.
The ELISA data graphed below illustrate the specificity of the recombinant anti-vUNG antibodies against the target v-UNG protein (left) compared to the related, non-target murine UNG (right).
In this example project, we generated antibodies that recognized a post-translationally modified protien (phosphorylated activation-induced deaminase) but not the unmodified protein. The workflow diagram illustrates our process from inoculation of mice to testing the recombinantly expressed antibodies by immunoblotting.