Phage antibodies with pan-species recognition of the oncofoetal angiogenesis marker fibronectin ED-B domain

Int J Cancer. 1996 Nov 4;68(3):397-405. doi: 10.1002/(SICI)1097-0215(19961104)68:3<397::AID-IJC20>3.0.CO;2-4.


Fibronectin (FN) exists in several polymorphic forms due to alternative splicing. The B-FN isoform (with ED-B domain inserted by splicing) is present in the stroma of foetal and neoplastic tissues and in adult and neoplastic blood vessels during angiogenesis but is undetectable in mature vessels. This isoform, therefore, represents a promising marker for angiogenesis, as already shown using the mouse monoclonal antibody (MAb) BC-1 directed against an epitope on human B-FN. However, this MAb does not directly recognise the human ED-B domain nor does it recognise B-FN of other species; therefore, it cannot be used as a marker of angiogenesis in animal models. In principle, antibodies directed against the human ED-B domain should provide pan-species markers for angiogenesis as the sequence of this domain is highly conserved in different species (and identical in humans and mice). As it has proved difficult to obtain such antibodies by hybridoma technology, we used phage display technology. Here, we describe the isolation of human antibody fragments against the human ED-B domain that bind to human, mouse and chicken B-FN. As shown by immunohistochemistry, the antibody fragments stain human neoplastic tissues and the human, mouse and chicken neovasculature.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Viral / metabolism*
  • Bacteriophages / immunology*
  • Biomarkers / analysis
  • Chickens
  • Conserved Sequence
  • Epitopes / immunology
  • Epitopes / metabolism
  • Fibronectins / immunology*
  • Fibronectins / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin Fragments / isolation & purification*
  • Immunoglobulin Fragments / metabolism*
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Isomerism
  • Mice
  • Mice, SCID
  • Neovascularization, Pathologic
  • Neovascularization, Physiologic*
  • Protein Structure, Secondary
  • Species Specificity
  • Teratocarcinoma / blood supply


  • Antibodies, Viral
  • Biomarkers
  • Epitopes
  • Fibronectins
  • Immunoglobulin Fragments