Referencing cross-reactivity of detection antibodies for protein array experiments
Protein arrays are frequently used to profile antibody repertoires in humans and animals. High-throughput protein array characterisation of complex antibody repertoires necessitates the use of extensively validated secondary detection antibodies. This article details the validation of an affinity-isolated anti-chicken IgY antibody produced in rabbit and a goat anti-rabbit IgG antibody conjugated with alkaline phosphatase using protein arrays consisting of 7,390 distinct human proteins. Probing protein arrays with secondary antibodies in absence of chicken serum revealed non-specific binding to 61 distinct human proteins. Despite the identified non-specific binding, the tested antibodies are well suited for use in protein array experiments as the cross-reactive binding partners can be readily excluded from further analysis. The evident cross-reactivity of the tested secondary detection antibodies points towards the necessity of platform-specific antibody characterisation studies for all secondary immunoreagents. Furthermore, secondary antibody characterisation using protein arrays enables the generation of reference lists of cross-reactive proteins, which can be then marked as potential false positives in follow-up experiments. Providing such cross-reactivity reference lists accessible to the wider research community may help to interpret data generated with the same antibodies in applications not only related to protein arrays such as immunoprecipitation, Western blots or other immunoassays.
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