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Combining the power of sequencing with the description of secreted antibodies

06.04.2020 13:57

Magazines Nature Biotechnology and Cell Reports have published articles of fruitful collaborations by Branco Weiss Fellow Klaus Eyer with academic and industrial partners.

Plasma cells and plasmablasts are subsets of antibody-secreting cells that are generated by an organism to encounter a specific threat (e. g. virus, bacteria, toxin). These secreted antibodies do not only help the organism to encounter the treat successfully, but the mining of the secreted antibody repertoire further enables the discovery of useful antibodies for therapeutic or research purposes. The article in Nature Biotechnology describes a droplet-based microfluidic system that combines genotype and phenotype information of antibodies. It is applied for high-throughput, single-cell screening for binding antibodies against different antigens. Involved in the research were researchers from ESPCI Paris, Institute Pasteur and HiFiBio SAS Paris, a start-up company screening the human immune system to find therapeutic antibodies.

The study published in Cell Reports was performed by research groups inside of ETH Zurich. It compared the evolutions of antibody responses during acute or chronic viral infections using a murine model system. This was done by combining quantitative functional assays and time-resolved antibody repertoire sequencing; i.e. by again combining a phenotypic and genomic description of the antibody response. The experiments revealed continued and personalized evolution of humoral immunity along the infection, knowledge that might be beneficial to design novel anti-viral vaccines. Based on these results, future studies could provide an unprecedented opportunity to delineate how the humoral immune system can outcompete persisting and evolving pathogens in some cases but fails to do so in other, such as HIV-1 infection.

Read the article on Nature Biotechnology

Read the article on Cell Reports