The importance of antibodies for proteomics studies is widely acknowledged as well as the challenges in using them. Antibodies are versatile reagents used in different applications, under conditions that can influence their performance and their specificity toward the target. Consequently, antibody recognition and binding to the epitope, in a specific context eg. in Western Blot, is not necessarily translatable to other applications like ELISA. Since the performance of these reagents is application dependent, thorough testing is a prerequisite to ensure efficient use of antibodies as reagents. In addition efforts are needed to improve and share information regarding antibody specificity.
Antibodypedia is an online tool that enables scientist to find the right antibody for the right application. Currently the database comprises validation information and citations for more than 4.0 millions of antibodies. Functionality has been integrated to structure experimental data enabling analysis of antibody performance. This resource enables scientists to search among more than 1.9 millions of experimental results and select the most appropriate antibody for their specific application. The evidence regarding antibody performance is also accessible for side-by-side comparison of results and citations.
In accordance to the guideline for systematic validation of antibodies designed by the International Working Group for Antibody Validation (IWGAV) (Uhlén et al 2016), we have developed tools to highlight antibodies validated by: genetic strategies, orthogonal strategies, independent antibody strategies, expression of tagged proteins, and immunocapture followed by mass spectrometry (MS). An increasing number of antibodies are validated according to the IWGAV guideline eg. 4,392 antibodies listed in Antibodypedia are orthogonally validated. The increasing information collected in the database can be used to analyze availability of antibodies against the specific human proteins for specific applications and highlight proteins with few validated antibodies as well as applications lacking suitable reagents.