10 unique reagents that helped advance research in 2016

At Kerafast, our mission is to facilitate access to unique reagents developed by academic researchers. Together with our providing investigators, we get one-of-a-kind bioreagents into the hands of scientists worldwide who can use the materials to accelerate their own research.

As we begin 2017, we took the opportunity to review how reagents in our catalog helped contribute to scientific progress in 2016. Here are 10 unique materials used in peer-reviewed research last year to further understanding of basic science and disease:

  1. Zika Virus Envelope (E) Protein Antibody

From the laboratory of James E. Crowe Jr., MD, Vanderbilt University

The Zika virus was, and continues to be, a critical area of research, as scientists strive to develop treatments and a vaccine for the birth defect-causing virus. In March 2016, Dr. Crowe made available a human serum specimen containing polyclonal antibodies induced by natural infection with Zika virus. The antibodies were purchased by scientists around the world. In one example of their use, published in PLOS Pathogens in November, researchers from FDA explored how Zika infection is associated with T cell infiltration and neurodegeneration within the central nervous system.

  1. dsRNA [rJ2] antibody used to detect Zika virus (green) infection of cultured human cells. Learn more here >>

    dsRNA [rJ2] antibody used to detect Zika virus (green) infection of cultured human cells. Learn more here >>

    dsRNA [rJ2] Antibody

From the laboratory of Abraham L. Brass, MD, PhD, University of Massachusetts Medical School

This mouse monoclonal antibody was developed by the Brass lab to recognize double-stranded RNA of positive sense genome viruses, which include hepatitis C, rhinovirus, dengue and more. In 2016, the antibody became noted for its ability to aid in Zika virus research. The Brass lab published a Cell Reports paper in June utilizing the antibody, while an American Society for Microbiology blog post detailed how the antibody could be used to detect Zika virus infection.

  1. Ebola Virus Antibodies

From the laboratory of Christopher F. Basler, PhD, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai

The Basler lab has made available several antibodies for detecting Zaire Ebola virus proteins, including nucleoprotein, VP24 protein and VP35 protein. The VP35 Protein, C-Terminal [6C5] Antibody was used in a September mBio study in which a team of researchers from Boston University, Galveston National Laboratory and the NIH demonstrated how a human protein pathway can control Ebola virus gene expression and replication. These findings provide a new therapeutic target for treating Ebola; learn more about the study here.

  1. Microglial Cell Line (IMG)

From the laboratory of Chih-Hao Lee, PhD, Harvard University

In January 2016, Dr. Chih-Hao Lee of Harvard University co-authored an article in the Journal of Inflammation in which the researchers characterized a novel adult murine immortalized microglial cell line. He then made the cell line, named IMG, available via the Kerafast platform. The cell line, which can phagocytose foreign particles such as amyloid-beta peptide and be induced to pro- or anti-inflammatory microglial phenotypes, has since been accessed and used by researchers worldwide.

  1. Complement Antibodies

From the laboratories of Ronald P. Taylor, PhD, University of Virginia and Martin Oppermann, MD, University Medical Center Göttingen 

The Kerafast catalog includes monoclonal antibodies recognizing various proteins of the complement system, part of the innate immune response. Penn State University researchers used the Complement C3 [1H8] Antibody in a July EBioMedicine paper on malaria. The study demonstrated that malaria parasites hijack the complement system to invade red blood cells; learn more about the research here.

  1. Puromycin [3RH11] Antibody

From the laboratory of Scot R. Kimball, PhD, Penn State College of Medicine

This monoclonal antibody provides a non-radioactive method to measure rates of global protein synthesis (mRNA translation) directly, using standard immunochemical methods. This provides an advantageous alternative to classical pulse-chase or flooding dose methods, which rely on radioactive amino acid labeling. Researchers have used the antibody for a variety of applications; in just some 2016 papers, it was used in studies of breast cancer, muscle proteolysis, cancer and dengue virus.

  1. Vesicular Stomatitis Virus Reagents

From the laboratories of Michael A. Whitt, PhD, University of Tennessee and Douglas S. Lyles, PhD, Wake Forest University

Vesicular Stomatitis Virus (VSV) is a widely used model system for studying viral replication and assembly and evaluating the effectiveness of vaccines. The Kerafast platform facilitates access to a variety of VSV-related reagents, including antibodies to detect and plasmids to encode for various VSV proteins. In addition, the Delta-G-VSV Pseudotyping System enables analyses of infectious viral entry at just biosafety level 2 (BSL-2) containment. Our VSV reagents were used in various virology studies this past year, published in journals such as Journal of Virology, Cell Reports, PLOS ONE and Scientific Reports.

  1. The DCP-Bio1 probe for protein cysteine oxidation. Learn more here >>

    The DCP-Bio1 probe for protein cysteine oxidation. Learn more here >>

    DCP-Bio1 Cysteine Oxidation Probe

From the laboratory of Leslie B. Poole, PhD, Wake Forest School of Medicine.

The Poole lab has developed various in vivo and in vitro probes for the identification of protein cysteine oxidation, providing a valuable tool for the study of redox catalysis and regulation. The DCP-Bio1 probe, which contains a biotin tag for easy purification or Western blot detection, was utilized in an August Molecular Cell paper. Investigators from the Joslin Diabetes Center and Harvard Medical School discovered that reactive oxygen species (ROS) can play a role in increasing a cell’s resistance to stress, a finding with implications in drug discovery for diseases such as diabetes. Learn more about the study here.

  1. Retinal Cell Line (R28)

From the laboratory of Gail M. Seigel, PhD, University of Rochester

The R28 cell line displays both glial and neuronal cell markers indicative of a retinal precursor cell, and it has been used for more than 20 years for in vitro and in vivo studies of retinal cell behavior. This past year, the cell line was used by Johns Hopkins University researchers in an Oncotarget paper exploring novel therapies for retinoblastoma, as well as by Vanderbilt University researchers in a Scientific Reports paper on retinopathy.

  1. DNA-RNA Hybrid [S9.6] Antibody

From the laboratory of Stephen H. Leppla, PhD, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases/NIH

The S9.6 antibody offers high specificity and affinity for DNA-RNA hybrids; it does not cross-react with single-stranded DNA or double-stranded DNA. One way the antibody is being used is to study R-loops, three-stranded nucleic acid structures composed of a DNA-RNA hybrid and single-stranded DNA. The structures are being studied for their roles in genetic regulation and disease; two recent papers that used the S9.6 antibody were published in Cell Reports and Nucleic Acids Research.

Don’t forget: if you’ve published a peer-reviewed article that cites one of our reagents, share it with us to receive 50% off your next purchase. Just email info@kerafast.com with your journal citation. You must be an article author, and Kerafast must be cited as a material supplier. For each citation, we will provide a one-time 50% off coupon code to use during your next reagent purchase. You have our best wishes for successful research in 2017!