AQA - antibodies

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Preview of Antibodies

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Are proteins that are synthesised by B-cells
When a body is invaded by a non self cell a B cell produces an antibody
These antibodies react with the antigen on the surface of the pathogen by binding with them
Antibodies are very specific
Each antigen has its own antibody
There are massive amount of shapes that the antibody could be because they aare made of
(4 polypeptide chains)
They have 2 heavy chains
And 2 lighter ­ short chains
To help the antigen fit the antibody the antibody can change shape. By changing the variable
Monoclonal Antibodies
Pathogens entering the body are likely to have many different antigens on its surface.
Each antigen produce a different B cell which in turn produces a different antibody
They are collectively known as polyclonal antibodies
It is of considerable value to know about the specific antibody
Especially when produced outside the cell
When a single antibody is isolated it is known as a monoclonal antibody
Monoclonal antibodies have different uses
1) separation of chemicals from a mixture
2) Immunoassay ­ Finding the volume of a substance in a mixture (used for pregnancy tests)
3) Treating cancer ­ Antibodies attach to cancer cells. The monoclonal antibodies activate the
cytoxic drug which kills the cancerous cells.


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