Cytokeratins are keratin proteins found in the intracytoplasmic cytoskeleton of epithelial tissue. They are an essential component of intermediate filaments, which help cells resist mechanical stress. The expression of these cytokeratins within epithelial cells is specific primarily to particular organs or tissues.
Cytokeratins are particularly useful tools in oncology diagnostics. The expression of cytokeratins varies with epithelial cell type, the extent of differentiation, and the development of the tissue. The cytokeratin patterns are usually maintained during the transformation of normal healthy cells into malignant tumor cells. This enables cytokeratins to be applied as tumor markers.
The subsets of cytokeratins that an epithelial cell expresses depend mainly on the type of epithelium, the moment in the course of terminal differentiation, and the stage of development. Thus a specific cytokeratin expression profile allows the identification of epithelial cells. Furthermore, this applies also to the malignant counterparts of the epithelia, carcinomas, as the cytokeratin profile is generally retained. Thus the study of cytokeratin expression by immunohistochemistry techniques is a tool of immense value widely used for tumor diagnosis and characterization in surgical pathology.
Advantages of Using Recombinant Cytokeratin Antibodies
Because recombinant antibody production involves sequencing the antibody light and heavy chains, recombinant antibody production allows researchers more control over the antigen. In contrast, hybridoma-based systems for producing monoclonal antibodies are subject to genetic drift and instability, increasing the potential for lot-to-lot variability. Since rAbs are defined by the sequences that encode them, they are more reliable and provide more reproducible results than mAbs. By adjusting experimental conditions, researchers can easily favor the isolation of antibodies against antigens.
Ease of Scalability and Continuous Supply
In vitro methods for producing antibodies are amenable to large-scale production, meaning antibody availability is unlikely to become a limiting factor. Recombinant antibodies can be produced in weeks as opposed to months. Moreover, since the recombinant antibody sequence is known, continuity of supply is assured. This means antibody expression can be carried out at any scale with guaranteed long-term supply giving you added peace of mind and continuity for projects of all sizes, making recombinant antibodies a great solution for long-term studies.
Once the antibody-producing genes are isolated, high-throughput in vitro manufacture can be implemented. This eliminates the numerous ethical and animal welfare concerns commonly associated with traditional monoclonal antibody production.