Secondary Antibody Fragments and Their Advantages

The F (ab) and F (ab') 2 antibody fragments are of a high quality and are conjugated to HRP, AP and Alexa Fluor® dyes.

Some whole antibodies are digested particularly using enzymes; hence, they generate antibody fragments. An antibody digested by the enzyme papain yields two F (ab) fragments of about 50 kDa each along with an Fc fragment.

On the contrary, F (ab') 2 fragment antibodies are generated by pepsin digestion to remove most of the Fc region, while at the same time leaving intact some of the hinge region.

The antigen-binding F (ab) portions are part of the F (ab') 2 fragments. The F (ab) portions are linked together by disulfide bonds, and therefore are divalent with a molecular weight of about 110 kDa.

Advantages of Using Secondary Antibody Fragments

The main advantage of using a secondary antibody fragments specific to the primary antibody is that it can lead to improved results, particularly when applied in immunohistochemistry.

The non-specific binding between Fc portions of antibodies and Fc receptors on cells, such as macrophages, dendritic cells, neutrophils, NK cells and B cells is removed by the F (ab) and F (ab') 2 fragment. Those are also smaller, therefore, they can penetrate tissues more efficiently.

Furthermore, fragment antibodies do not have Fc portions; therefore, they do not interfere with anti-Fc mediated antibody selection.

There is a range of high quality antibody fragments F (ab) and F (ab') 2 available with the following benefits:

  • Reactive against a variety of species including human, rabbit, goat and mouse.
  • Provided in conjugated form to labels, such as HRP, AP, Biotin, and Alexa Fluor®  dyes.

About Abcam

Abcam is a global life sciences company providing highly validated antibodies and other binders and assays to the research and clinical communities to help advance the understanding of biology and causes of disease.

Abcam’s mission is to serve life scientists to help them achieve their mission faster by listening to their needs, continuously innovating and improving and by giving them the tools, data and experience they want. Abcam’s ambition is to become the most influential life science company for researchers worldwide.

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Last updated: Apr 23, 2019 at 10:00 AM


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