Methods are being investigated to increase the efficacy of producing monoclonal antibodies to trace quantities of peptides and proteins that are of high value to science and industry. The research will lead to the development of diagnostic and therapeutic antibodies having characteristics superior to those currently available. Submicrogram levels of proteins and small peptides will be bound to nitrocellulose filter membranes and used to immunize mice.
The specific aims of phase I are to obtain information concerning the: 1) minimum level of immunogen required for an immune response 2) length of time required for immunization 3) classes of antibodies that are obtained 4) relative binding affinities of the antibodies 5) immune response toward small peptides adsorbed to nitrocellulose Phase II research will involve an expanded investigation of the methodological approach developed in phase I, especially in the area of peptide immunogens. Also, antibodies of commercial value will be developed against human proteins available to ZymoGenetics which have diagnostic and therapeutic value. The success of this work will provide significant contributions to biotechnology and human health care.