Generating probes for cell wall polymers

One of our research aims is to generate defined probes for the analysis of cell wall glycans in situ. Probes such as monoclonal antibodies to oligosaccharide epitopes are crucial tools to dissect the temporal and spatial occurrence of cell wall polysaccharides and their modifications during the life of a plant. Moreover, they are essential tools for determining the polymer arrangements and architecture of individual cell walls. Our probes are generally rat hybridoma monoclonal antibodies. We have also explored the capacity of recombinant his-tagged carbohydrate-binding modules (CBMs) from cell wall hydrolases to act in a similar manner as antibodies as probes for cell wall components.

The generation of monoclonal antibodies to glycans is not straightforward. The limitations include the low immunogenicity of glycans which often necessitates the preparation of neoglycoprotein immunogens. This involves the coupling of a defined oligosaccharide to an immunogenic protein such as BSA or KLH. This strategy has led to the generation of monoclonal antibodies to 1,4-galactan, 1,4-xylan, 1,5-arabinan, 1,4-mannan and xyloglucan. A compounding factor is the limited availability of appropriate defined oligosaccharides that are required both for the coupling to protein and immunogen preparation and also for the characterization of derived antibodies.

If you are interested in the generation of monoclonal antibodies to a specific plant cell wall polymer or set of polymers and may have useful resources to achieve this please contact us. Lists of monoclonal antibodies in which we have been involved in generating can be found here: antibodies.

Useful links

Pages describing the supply of antibodies from our laboratory

Our rat MAbs are now also available from Megazyme (serum-free antibodies), based in Ireland and also Kerafast who are based in Boston, USA. Both companies can ship worldwide.

Monoclonal antibodies for plant cell walls
Web page detailing NSF-funded antibody generation project at the Complex Carbohydrate Research Center (CCRC), Georgia, USA

CarboSource Services
The CCRC can also supply JIM5, JIM7 and an expanding range of other cell wall monoclonal antibodies.