Conservation of leukocyte cell surface proteins: Implications for the generation of monoclonal antibodies against newly identified leukocyte cell surface proteins

H. Zola, Chris Mavrangelos, D. J. Millard, I. C. Nicholson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The availability of mouse monoclonal antibodies has been integral to the classification of human leukocyte cell surface proteins under the 'Cluster of Differentiation' or 'CD' nomenclature system. The sequencing of the human genome has identified many more proteins that have characteristics similar to the known leukocyte cell surface proteins, but which have not so far been identified using monoclonal antibodies. One factor that may have limited the generation of monoclonal antibodies to some of these proteins is the high level of sequence conservation between the mouse and human proteins, in particular in the extracellular regions that are recognized by most of the widely used antibodies. An alternative approach is to use a more distant species, such as chickens, for the generation of antibody reagents. Here we compare the extent of amino acid differences in the protein CD molecules expressed by human leukocytes and their mouse and chicken homologs. The analysis confirms that the human proteins are more similar to the mouse homologs than the chicken homologs. The results indicate that chicken antibodies have the potential to be used as an alternative to mouse reagents where human-mouse sequence conservation is high.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)13-18
Number of pages6
JournalTissue Antigens
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished or Issued - 1 Jul 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • CD molecules
  • Leukocyte cell surface proteins
  • Monoclonal antibodies
  • Species conservation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Biochemistry
  • Genetics

Cite this