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What are antibodies?
Proteins synthesised by B cells.
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When are antibodies produced?
When the body is invaded by foreign material.
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What do antibodies react with?
Antigens on the cell surface of the foreign material, by binding to them precisely
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What are antibodies made of?
4 polypeptide chains.
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What are the two types of chains?
Heavy chains, which are long, and light chains which are shorter.
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What shape is the antibody?
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How does the antibody fit around antigens?
They can change shape by moving as if they had a hinge in the fork of the Y shape.
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What part of the antibody fits exactly to the antigen?
The binding site, also known as the variable region, as it differs between antibodies.
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What do antibodies form?
Antigen-antibody complexes.
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What does each binding site consist of?
A sequence of amino acids that for a specific 3-D shape.
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What is the constant region?
All of the antibody that is not the binding site, as it is always the same in all antibodies.
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What are polyclonal antibodies?
When a B cell multiplies, it produces clones, collectively known as polyclonal antibodies.
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What are monoclonal antibodies?
Single types of antibodies can be isolated and cloned outside of the body - such antibodies are known as monoclonal.
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What are 4 useful functions for monoclonal antibodies?
Separation of a chemical from a mixture, immunoassay, cancer treatment and transplant surgery.
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What is immunoassay?
Immunoassay is a method of calculating the amount of substance in a mixture, used in pregnancy tests and tests for drugs in urine.
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How can monoclonal antibodies be used in cancer treatment?
They can be made so they attach themselves to cancer cells, and can then be used to activate a cytoxic drug, which will kill off the cancer cells with little damage to surrounding cells.
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How can monoclonal antibodies be used in transplant surgery?
A transplanted organ often suffers some rejection because of the action of the T cells; monoclonal antibodies can be used to knock out these specific T cells.
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How are antibodies extracted?
A mouse is exposed to foreign material, and the antibodies it produces are extracted from the spleen.
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How are B cells which are removed from a mouse able to divide?
They are mixed with cells which divide readily outside of the body, as B cells would not normally do so.
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Why is detergent added to the mixture?
To break down cell surface membranes of both types of cell, enabling them to fuse together.
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What happens after cells have fused together?
They are separated under a microscope and each single cell is cultured to form a clone, which is tested to see if it is producing the required antibody.
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What happens to any clone producing the correct antibody?
It is grown on a large scale and the antibodies are extracted from the growth medium.
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Other cards in this set

Card 2


When are antibodies produced?


When the body is invaded by foreign material.

Card 3


What do antibodies react with?


Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4


What are antibodies made of?


Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5


What are the two types of chains?


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