Epitope mapping for antibodies provides crucial information for antibody development as therapeutics or diagnostic agents. High-resolution crystal structure of the antibody/antigen (Ab/Ag) complex is the “Gold Standard” for epitope mapping, but it is costly and time-consuming, and requires large amounts of purified samples. Moreover, the crystallizability of Ab/Ag complexes is often a tricky speed-limiting problem.
A new method of mapping epitopes is by single-particle electron microscopy (EM) and three-dimensional reconstruction (3D-EM), which includes EM imaging, 3D reconstruction, protein structure prediction, and molecular docking to characterize Ab/Ag interaction and to map epitopes.
The advantages of epitope mapping by 3D-EM includes:
- Sample requirement: less than 0.1 milligrams of the complex, while X-ray crystallography usually needs more than 10 milligrams.
- Time: No speed-limiting step, guaranteed result within one month.
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