News | August 15, 2006

What Is An Antibody?

Source: BioProcess Online

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Abstract: What Is An Antibody?

An antibody is a large Y-shaped protein used by the immune system to identify and neutralize foreign objects like bacteria and viruses. Each antibody recognizes a specific antigen unique to its target. This is because at the two tips of its "Y", it has structures akin to locks. Every lock only has one key, in this case, its own antigen. When the key is inserted into the lock, the antibody activates, tagging or neutralizing its target. The production of antibodies is the main function of the humoral immune system.

Immunoglobulins are glycoproteins in the immunoglobulin superfamily that function as antibodies. The terms antibody and immunoglobulin are often used interchangeably. They are found in the blood and tissue fluids, as well as many secretions. In structure, they are globulins (in the ?-region of protein electrophoresis). They are synthesized and secreted by plasma cells that are derived from the B cells of the immune system. B cells are activated upon binding to their specific antigen and differentiate into plasma cells. In some cases, the interaction of the B cell with a T helper cell is also necessary.

Click Here To Download:
Abstract: What Is An Antibody?