Epitope mapping of commercial antibodies that detect myocilin

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The presence of myocilin is often used in the process of validating trabecular meshwork (TM) cells and eye tissues, but the antibody reagents used for detection are poorly characterized. Indeed, for over a century, researchers have been using antibodies to track proteins of interest in a variety of biological contexts, but many antibodies remain ill-defined at the molecular level and in their target epitope. Such issues have prompted efforts from major funding agencies to validate reagents and combat reproducibility issues across biomedical sciences. Here we characterize the epitopes recognized by four commercial myocilin antibodies, aided by structurally and biochemically characterized myocilin fragments. All four antibodies recognize enriched myocilin secreted from human TM cell media. The detection of myocilin fragments by ELISA and Western blot reveal a variety of epitopes across the myocilin polypeptide chain. A more precise understanding of myocilin antibody targets, including conformational specificity, should aid the community in standardizing protocols across laboratories and in turn, lead to a better understanding of eye physiology and disease.Graphical abstractHighlightsAvailable commercial myocilin antibodies are not well validated.Recombinant myocilin constructs can identify epitopes recognized by commercial antibodies.Available antibodies recognize the three major structural regions of myocilin.

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