epitope: a molecular region on the surface of an antigen capable of eliciting an immune response and of combining with the specific antibody produced by such a response

The Epitope Recognition and Immunoreagent Core Facility (ERIC) at the University of Alabama at Birmingham has evolved from expansion and diversification of the Hybridoma Core Facility established in 1980. Now the ERIC consists of a hybridoma laboratory and phage display laboratories. In addition to supplying traditional hybridoma services, the ERIC provides UAB investigators with novel approaches for monoclonal antibody (mAb) development as well as expertise in immunoassay design, epitope characterzation, and phage display technology. The Core produces and distributes a variety of frequently utilized monoclonal reagents (i.e., anti-tag reagent, anti-mouse, or human CD antigens) at highly economical prices.

Hybridoma Laboratory

Services provided by the hybridoma lab include procurement and housing of pathogen-free rodents, design and evaluation of peptide antigens, immunization, sera testing, performance and screening of fusions, single-cell cloning, isotyping, and large-scale monoclonal antibody (mAb) production and purification. Proteins, peptides, whole cells, acrylamide gel slices, or blotted nitrocellulose strips may be employed as immunizing antigens. The typical timeframe for a successful fusion project (from acquisition of immunizing antigen to large-scale mAb production) is approximately three months. The Core maintains a substantial inventory of commonly requested hybridoma lines acquired from either ATCC or individual investigators.

Phage Display Laboratory

The Phage Display (PD) laboratory uses two human sFvs-expressing phage libraries—containing 109 random combinations of light and heavy variable genes—to produce antigen-specific sFvs. The services of the PD unit include library screening, large-scale production and purification of sFvs, and technical assistance in the design and performance of assays utilizing sFvs.The inclusion of antibody phage display technology has enhanced the Core's ability to produce specific monoclonal reagents to highly conserved, poorly immunogenic or chemically modified molecular targets.

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