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Vol. 33 No. 4
July-August 2011

The Project Place | Information about new, current, and complete IUPAC projects and related initiatives.
See also www.iupac.org/projects

Advances in Immunochemistry and Applications to Human Health

The field of immunochemistry is becoming increasingly important in the development of diagnostic and therapeutic approaches to many different diseases. The objective of this project is to compile present knowledge of the molecular basis of immunochemical interactions, to summarize the rapidly expanding applications in many health-related areas, and to critically discuss future research needs.

The project builds on earlier work by the Chemistry and Human Health Division. A project on Immunochemistry of Metals (1999-047-1-700) has been completed, five publications* have dealt with the molecular mechanisms of immune sensitization caused by metals, and a critical evaluation of the use of clinical tests potentially available for diagnosing specific metal allergies. In addition, a project to develop a “Glossary of Terms in Immunotoxicology” (2007-053-1-700) is nearly completed.
The present project will further IUPAC’s involvement in immunochemistry by describing advances in the understanding of chemical interactions between antigens and T-cell receptors (TCR) or immunoglobulins, and depicting how immunochemical applications improve and diversify medical diagnostics and therapeutics. The project will cover the following:

1. Antibodies, antigens, and their interactions
—antibodies and TCR: Structure, hypervariable region, idiotype, paratope
—antigens: macromolecules, haptens, metals, small molecules. Domains, epitope (linear, conformational), epitope mapping, epitope tag, specific motifs
—interactions of antigens with antibody/TCR: antigenic determinants, complementarity-determining region, mimitopes, functional epitopes, effects of chemical modifications
—technical production: Polyclonal and monoclonal antibodies

2. Application in Diagnostics

—antibody labeling, ELISA and Spot-ELISA in diagnostics
—immunocytochemistry and histochemistry in pathology
—immunoseparation and immunoelectrophoresis in biochemistry
—biosensor detection systems in toxicology (drugs, toxicants, environmentally persistent chemicals, agents of chemical warfare)

3. Application in Therapeutics

—principles of biosimilarity and new biological entity
—design and production of therapeutic antibodies and of cell-specific carriers
—applications to autoimmune-disease, tumors, allergies
—active/passive vaccination in cancer

4. Design and Prediction of Chemical Affinities

—affinities and specificities of TCRs and anti-bodies
—epitope recognition patterns, protein-epitope mimetics, antibody libraries, engineered antibodies and fragments
—in silico prediction and computational chemistry of interactions used for design of therapeutic antibodies and for hazard characterization

The project is designed to facilitate the advancement of research in the chemical sciences and to serve the current educational needs of chemists and other scientists in the cross-disciplinary areas of chemistry, immunology, and human health.

*PAC 76: 1255–1268 (2004), PAC 76: 1269–1281 (2004), PAC 78: 2155–2168 (2006), PAC 80: 1349–364 (2008), and PAC 81: 153–167 (2009).

For more information, contact Task Group Chair Michael Schwenk <mike.schwenk@gmx.net>.

www.iupac.org/web/ins/2010-051-1-700


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