Therapeutic Antibodies

Glossary

Immunity This refers to the important action whereby the body maintains its normal condition by recognizing pathogens such as viruses and bacteria that have entered the body, along with cancer cells as foreign substances (other than itself), and attacking, killing and eliminating these.
Antibody Antibodies are a type of protein that act to protect the body from foreign substances. When foreign substances enter the body, the body produces antibodies to attack and eliminate these. Antibodies play an important role in the biological defense system provided by immunity.
Antigen Antigens exist on the surface of foreign substances and are used as targets enabling antibodies to recognize and destroy foreign substances. In illnesses called autoimmune diseases, substances making up one's own body become antigens causing an immune response. Furthermore, antigens that cause allergic reactions are called allergens.
Chemical synthesis Numerous stages of physical or chemical reactions are carried out until the intended compound is obtained by using a compound and a reagent as raw material to cause a reaction for creating the intended compound.
Monoclonal antibody Antibodies obtained from cells producing single antibodies such as hybridomas.
Hybridoma A single new cell is created by combining two or more different cells.
HAC An abbreviation of Human-Artificial-Chromosome. A revolutionary technique transgenic of an extremely large gene into a mouse gene.
Macrophage A type of white blood cell that plays a role in the immune system. They process pathogens (viruses, bacteria, etc.) that have entered the body and dead cells by preying upon and digesting them. Furthermore, they serve a role of notifying other cells of the antigens on the surface of the pathogens being preyed upon (antigen-presenting capacity).
NK cell
(Natural killer cell)
These primarily serve the role of protecting the body by attacking cancer cells and cells infected with viruses.
Complement When an antibody combines with an antigen, this becomes active to complement the action of the antibody and indicate the promotion of predation and lysis through phagocytes by microphages.
Serum The pale yellow liquid that rises to the surface when blood solidifies is serum. The substance obtained after removing the cellular components (red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets) from blood is called plasma, and serum is obtained by further removing fibrinogen and clotting factor.
Subtype (isotype) Antibodies are formed from short light chains (with low molecular weight) and long heavy chains (with high molecular weight). Of these, there are five types of heavy chains, and the type of antibody is determined by differences in these heavy chains. These antibody types are called subtypes.
Illustration: explanation of antibody light chains and heavy chains
Molecular weight Molecules are composed of atoms, and the molecular weight is to sum of the atomic weight of atoms making up the molecule. For example, a water molecule (H2O) is composed of two hydrogen (H: atomic weight 1) atoms and one oxygen (O: atomic weight 16) atom, giving a molecular weight of 18.
Formulation The form of a drug. Typical examples include tablets (medicine), ointment (topical cream), adhesive skin patches, injections and eye drops.
Antigenicity The antigenicity here refers to the degree at which a substance can be recognized by the body as being foreign. High antigenicity indicates an antigen is easily recognized as being a foreign substance and antibodies are produced to eliminate it from the body. Conversely, low antigenicity indicates that an antigen is difficult to be recognized as being a foreign substance and it is difficult for antibodies to be produced.
Specificity Comparing specificity to a key and a keyhole, specificity is high if there is only one keyhole for one key. Conversely, specificity is low if a single key matches several keyholes. That is, specificity is believed to be high if multiple antibodies combine with just one target.
Culture Here, culture is referred to the cell growth. This is performed in an environment with the appropriate temperature, etc.
Centrifuge A device applying centrifugal force. This enables the separation of materials with different specific gravity (a higher specific gravity results in greater separation from the center axis).
Chromatography A purification method that is used to separate materials using differences in size and affinity.
Fab antibody Antibodies made up of only the parts that combine with antigens. Their molecular weight is around half that of normal antibodies.
Single-chain antibody Artificially produced antibodies based on the parts combining with antigens. Their molecular weight is around 1/4 that of normal antibodies.