New marker antibody identified for melanoma therapy

Antibody suppliers produce a wide range of cellular marker antibodies for use in genetic and molecular research. They are used to identify proteins which are common to certain cell types, so those cells can be isolated for further study. Recently, the neuropilin, or NRP2 antibody identified neuropilin as a possible new biomarker in melanoma cells.

Marker antibodies cover a large number of areas, targeting fibroblast, stem cell, mitochondrial, Golgi apparatus and many other protein types. Many proteins are overexpressed (or suppressed) in conditions such as skin cancer. FACS (fluorescent-activated cell sorting) and similar techniques allow cell populations to be identified and isolated for diagnostic, research and clinical use.

The NRP2 gene encodes a transmembrane protein in the neuropilin receptor family, thought to be involved in axon guidance, development of the cardiovascular system, and tumourigenesis. NRP2 binds to the SEMA 3C and 3F proteins, and interacts with VEGF (vascular endothelial growth factor), which plays an important role in tumor development. A number of transcript variants have been identified for the NRP2 gene.

Recently, researchers at Boston University School of Medicine and Johns Hopkins University used a novel cell sorting technique which identified NRP2 as a potential cell marker and therapeutic target in melanomas. The study also clarified the way in which melanoma cells interact with the vasculature to promote growth of tube-like conduits – thought to be essential for progression of tumor metastasis. Using a novel microfluidic antibody microarray platform, the scientists identified Neuropilin-2 as a major player in the process. Gene silencing was able to inhibit tumor growth.

The study provided valuable information on the way in which tumor and vascular cells interact, paving the way for research into other metastatic cancers. We at Novus Biologicals have a large antibody database devoted to cancer research and cell signalling.

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