Enhanced validation of antibodies for research applications

Nat Commun. 2018 Oct 8;9(1):4130. doi: 10.1038/s41467-018-06642-y.


There is a need for standardized validation methods for antibody specificity and selectivity. Recently, five alternative validation pillars were proposed to explore the specificity of research antibodies using methods with no need for prior knowledge about the protein target. Here, we show that these principles can be used in a streamlined manner for enhanced validation of research antibodies in Western blot applications. More than 6,000 antibodies were validated with at least one of these strategies involving orthogonal methods, genetic knockdown, recombinant expression, independent antibodies, and capture mass spectrometry analysis. The results show a path forward for efforts to validate antibodies in an application-specific manner suitable for both providers and users.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antibodies / immunology*
  • Antibody Specificity / immunology*
  • Blotting, Western / methods
  • Blotting, Western / standards
  • High-Throughput Screening Assays / methods*
  • High-Throughput Screening Assays / standards
  • Humans
  • Reference Standards
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Validation Studies as Topic*


  • Antibodies