The Swedish Human Protein Atlas project, funded by the (non-profit) Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation, invites submission of antibodies from both academic and commercial sources to be included in the human protein atlas (www.proteinatlas.org). All antibodies will be validated by the Human Protein Atlas project by a standard procedure and antibodies that are
accepted will be used in the tissue-profiling program to generate high-resolution immunohistochemistry images representing a wide spectrum of normal tissues and cancer types. Currently, the
validation procedure is free of charge. For each approved antibody, 576 spots of human tissue from 360 different individuals are immunostained and manually annotated. Academic collaborators will have access to all
biological data at least 6 months before the images will be published as part of the Human Protein Atlas.
Product number will be displayed for antibodies from commercial vendors, as well as a direct link from the antibody information page on the Protein Atlas to the provider homepage.
The collaborator is asked to fill in an excel-sheet submission form with information, such as:
- Gene/Protein identifier of target (Ensembl identifier)
- Description of target used for the antibody generation
- Description of type of antibody (pAb, mAb, or recAb)
- Purification method (affinity, protein A, supernatant)
Information about the antigen is also requested in the submission form. It is preferable (but optional) to give the size of the antigen in number of amino acids. In the comment field one can also add actual peptide
sequence and information about purity check, sequence verification etc (optional).
Submissions could range from a single antibody to several hundreds of antibodies. Use one line in the excel sheet per antibody. Send the submission form (excel)
Not more than two antibodies to the same target protein will normally be pursued. Priority will thus be given to new targets not present (or only represented by one antibody) in the Human Protein Atlas portal or in the Human Protein Atlas pipeline. Higher priority will also be given to antibodies with well-documented and relevant quality assurance. A documentation of previous validation/quality assurance should be attached in submission, preferably through a web-link (product data sheet and/or reference) or alternatively as a pdf-file (with results, reference and/or product data sheet). Antibodies should be validated by at least one of the following two methods:
- Western blot (with relevant human tissue extracts and/or cells)
- Immunohistochemistry (IHC with relevant human tissue and/or cells)
Examples of other suitable validation assays are:
- Antigen-based assays (ELISA, protein arrays or similar protein assay)
- Adsorption test (in combination with IHC)
- Flow sorting
- Immunocapture results ("pull-down" followed by suitable analysis)
For submissions that are approved, the collaborator will be asked to send in a vial of each antibody (free of charge). A minimum amount of 50 µg or equivalent will be needed for each antibody.
Use of the antibodies by the Human Protein Atlas program
Each antibody is tested according to the Human Protein Atlas standard quality assurance procedures, i.e. on a special designed tissue microarray (TMA) initially using two antibody-dilutions and heat epitope retrieval
in citrate buffer. The staining pattern is compared to previous characterization data of the target gene, in accordance to HPA guidelines. The number of test rounds for each antibody
varies depending on reproducibility and need for dilution. Each antibody approved by the Human Protein Atlas will subsequently be used for Western Blot and immunostaining of eight TMAs representing 576 tissue cores.
Flow of information
Non-approved antibodies will only be communicated to the antibody provider and will not be published on the Human Protein Atlas.
Tissue profiles of the approved antibodies will be published on the Atlas Portal at next following release.
For academic collaborators, the data will be stored at least six months on the internal web atlas before transfer to the publicly available Human Protein Atlas (www.proteinatlas.org). Each approved antibody on the public database will be directly linked from the Human Protein Atlas to the collaborators web-home page.
The cost for the profiling (Western blot analysis, immunohistochemistry, scanning, and annotation) is currently covered by the Human Protein Atlas project (Wallenberg Foundation).
Release of data
Academic collaborators can ask to further delay the release of the data and images on the public Human Protein Atlas portal (beyond six months) if publication based on the results from the protein profiling are being prepared. The decision will be made by the Human Protein Atlas priority committee and is normally not granted for longer than one year.