Chemotherapy can cause a host of harsh side effects. This is because the drugs used cause a type of cell death known as pyroptosis. Unlike ‘normal’ programmed cell death (apoptosis), pyroptosis is highly inflammatory. Dr Shao and his team discovered that by changing the levels of a particular protein, gasdermin E (GSDME), these adverse side effects could be lessened or even avoided.
Working closely with Abcam to develop custom recombinant RabMAb® antibodies, Dr Shao was able to identify the levels of GSDME across dozens of normal and cancerous cells and tissues. He proved that high GSDME levels cause cells to undergo pyroptosis rather than the much less-damaging apoptosis in response to chemotherapy drugs.
Crucial to Dr Shao’s research was using a highly sensitive antibody. The antibody developed with Abcam enabled detection of GSDME at very low levels. Dr Shao estimated that without the collaboration with Abcam, his team would have required at least an additional six months to produce their Nature paper. This work not only gives great insight into cell death and cancer but raises the possibility of improving chemotherapy outcomes and using GSDME as a cancer diagnostic or prognostic tool.
Dr Feng Shao
National Institute of Biological Sciences, Beijing, China
Number of protein targets where Abcam holds #1 position
(by citation): 21.9% (2013) to 30.5% (2017)
Recombinant RabMAb® products added to the catalogue
Highly commended – Researcher’s choice: Antibody company succeeding in cancer biology, antibody company of the year
New proteomics targets are constantly being identified by scientists around the world as they strive to advance their understanding of crucial biological pathways, creating demand for effective new research tools. Driven by those needs, in Abcam is continually launching new recombinant RabMAb antibodies on its catalogue and adding many more applications for its existing antibodies. New products include antibodies developed for targets across major research areas such as oncology, neuroscience and epigenetics, antibodies conjugated with dyes, antibody pairs and affinity binders for our kits.
We continue to invest in ways to deepen our understanding of customers so that we can better anticipate their needs and identify high-value targets. At the same time, we are working to improve our website and digital marketing capabilities, increasing the ease and efficiency with which consumers can find and use those products, as well as investing in our R&D, supply chain and manufacturing capabilities, to enable us to increase the speed at which we can create, manufacture and deliver those products to customers.
According to CiteAb, our products were cited in approximately half of all life science publications in 2019, and we were the most cited company in approximately 40% of the top 2,000 most studied protein targets as of June 30, 2020.