Neoepitope Antibodies Against MMP-cleaved and Aggrecanase-Cleaved Aggrecan

Methods Mol Biol. 2010;622:312-47. doi: 10.1007/978-1-60327-299-5_19.


Neoepitope antibodies recognize the newly created N or C terminus of protein degradation products but fail to recognize the same sequence of amino acids present in intact or undigested protein. Aggrecan neoepitope antibodies have been pivotal in studies determining the contribution of matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) and aggrecanases to aggrecanolysis. In particular, an antibody to the A(374)RGSV N terminus was instrumental in the landmark discovery of the aggrecanases, ADAMTS-4 and ADAMTS-5. Antibodies to neoepitopes at the major MMP cleavage site DIPEN(341)/(342)FFGVG helped to distinguish MMP-driven aggrecan loss from aggrecanase-driven aggrecan loss and identified a role for MMPs in late-stage disease. More recently, neoepitope antibodies that recognize cleavage sites in the chondroitin sulphate-rich region of aggrecan have been used to show that aggrecanase cleavage proceeds in a defined manner, beginning at the C terminus and proceeding to the signature cleavage at NITEGE(373)/(374)ARGSV in the interglobular domain. Work with the C-terminal neoepitope antibodies has underscored the need to use a suite of neoepitope antibodies to fully describe aggrecanolysis in vitro. In this chapter, we describe the production of two aggrecan neoepitope antibodies as examples: the monoclonal anti-FFGVG antibody (AF-28) and the polyclonal anti-DIPEN antisera.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aggrecans / chemistry
  • Aggrecans / metabolism*
  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Antibodies / immunology*
  • Ascites
  • Blotting, Western
  • Carrier Proteins / metabolism
  • Endopeptidases / metabolism*
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay
  • Epitopes / immunology*
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Matrix Metalloproteinases / metabolism*
  • Mice
  • Molecular Biology / methods*
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Oligopeptides
  • Peptide Fragments
  • Peptides / chemistry
  • Peptides / metabolism


  • Aggrecans
  • Antibodies
  • Carrier Proteins
  • Epitopes
  • Oligopeptides
  • Peptide Fragments
  • Peptides
  • peptide VDIPEN
  • Endopeptidases
  • Matrix Metalloproteinases
  • aggrecanase