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Athéna C. Patterson-Orazem, Raquel L. Lieberman; Antibodies Used to Detect Glaucoma-Associated Myocilin: More or Less Than Meets the Eye?. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2019;60(6):2034-2037. doi: 10.1167/iovs.19-26843.
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Antibodies are key reagents used in vision research, indeed across biomedical research, but they often do not reveal the whole story about a sample. It is important for researchers to be aware of aspects of antibodies that may affect or limit data interpretation. Federal agencies now require funded grants to demonstrate how they will authenticate reagents used. There is also a push for recombinant antibodies, enabled by phage display technology awarded the 2018 Nobel Prize in Chemistry, which allow for thorough validation and a fixed DNA sequence. Here, we discuss how issues surrounding antibodies are pertinent to detecting myocilin, a protein found in trabecular meshwork and associated with a portion of hereditary glaucoma. Confirmation of myocilin expression in tissues and cell culture has been adopted as validation standard in trabecular meshwork research; thus, a discussion of antibody characteristics and fidelity is critical. Further, based on our basic structural understanding of myocilin architecture and its biophysical aggregation properties, we provide a wish list for the characteristics of next-generation antibody reagents for vision researchers. In the long term, well-characterized antibodies targeting myocilin will enable new insights into its function and involvement in glaucoma pathogenesis.
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