NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Integral Molecular said today that the National Cancer Institute has awarded it a $150,000 contract to map epitopes for monoclonal antibodies directed against cancer biomarkers.
Integral, based in Philadelphia, will analyze protein targets of interest to the clinical cancer proteomics community using shotgun mutagenesis mapping technology to identify amino acids essential for antibody binding and to discover and characterize cancer-specific biomarkers.
During the first phase of the project, which is fully funded by NCI, Integral said it will epitope map antibodies generated against claudin membrane proteins involved in several types of cancer.
Shotgun mutagensis is a method for mapping epitopes by rapidly evaluating the effects of point mutations across an entire target protein. Using a patented high-throughput expression method, thousands of point mutations are simultaneously evaluated for functional protein activity, Integral said.
The approach is particular well-suited to cancer biomarkers, many of which are complex membrane proteins that are resistant to direct structural analysis, the company said.