When designing an experiment that will illicit antibody production, you'll need to design and purchase the perfect antigen, which is normally a peptide. This antigen needs to only trigger the production of the specific antibody that you are working on without having any other negative side effects. Designing the perfect antigen may take some time, and you might have to try several variations in order to get the results you want. Here are three factors that should be taken into account when designing the ideal antigen.
Type of Antibody Targeted
When designing or choosing a research peptide that will result in antibody production, knowing the type and shape of antibody that you are targeting can help. You need to determine sequences of the antibody that should be avoided or should be targeted. In particular, the peptide you choose should fit within the receptor responsible for triggering an antibody production. For example, if the receptor is small, the antigen you choose need to be of a similar size in order to fit into the receptor.
Solubility of the Antigen
In order for the peptide or antigen that you've created to illicit a response that causes antibody production, it must be soluble. If the antigen is not soluble, it cannot be delivered to cell. While it can be difficult to guarantee whether a research peptide will be soluble in water or not, choosing ionic or polar compounds, which are hydrophilic, can increase your chances. These compounds are able to form favorable interactions with water molecules.
Immunogenicity of Antigen
The research peptide that you choose may not only cause the cells to produce antibodies, but it can also illicit an immune reaction and response. When buying a research peptide, the company selling the peptides may be able to provide you with information regarding the antigenicity of the peptide. If not, you might want to get several variations of the research peptide in hopes of finding one that will not illicit an immune response at all.
If the antibody that you are targeting has already been researched extensively before, there may already be certain antigens recommended for the job. However, if you are looking into unknown territory, you'll have to work closely with the peptide manufacturer in order to design an ideal antigen that specifically targets the antibody of interest. Several adjustments may need to be made in order to increase the efficacy of the antigen.