EpiC: An Open Resource for Exploring Epitopes To Aid Antibody-Based Experiments
Antibodies are a primary research tool for a diverse range of experiments in biology, from development to pathology. Their utility is derived from their ability to specifically identify proteins at a high level of sensitivity. This diversity of experimental requirements stretches the capabilities of these key research reagents. However, antibodies seem well placed to answer the challenges of the forthcoming proteome-scale biology. Their use in such a wide variety of experimental requirements impacts on the choice of epitope used to raise the antibody. Understanding the constraints imposed by the experimental configuration is crucial to developing well-characterized affinity reagents. Their application to a wide range of biological fields and relatively low-cost of manufacture has ensured that the demand for a resource of well-characterized antibodies will remain high and that they will be an important biological resource for the foreseeable future. This demand will only increase as the number of therapeutic targets continues to grow. Current tools to aid in the production of affinity reagents are disparate and not freely available. We present a freely available Web resource ( http://epic.embl.de ) for the proteomics community; the Epitope Choice Resource (EpiC) for the selection of epitopes and characterization of the target protein. It provides the community with a single Web-based portal for the exploration of epitopes on a target protein and connects over the Internet to a wide range of bioinformatic tools ensuring that data being presented are up to date.
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