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Catalytic antibody

It's an antibody causing chemical reactions & produced through immunization with
a hapten molecule that is usually resemble the transition state or intermediate
of a desired reaction.
Antibodies are the recognition arm of the immune system. Antibodies are elicited
in large quantity when an animal is injected with Ag, a process known as immuni
zation. A small molecule used for immunization is called a hapten. Only large mo
lecules effectively elicit antibodies via immunization, so small-molecule hapten
s must be attached to a large protein molecule, called a Carrier Protein. Antibo
dies that are produced after immunization with the Hapten-Carrier protein Conjug
ate are complementary to and thus specifically bind the hapten.
Ordinarily, antibody molecules simply bind; they do not catalyze reactions. Howe
ver, catalytic antibodies are produced when animals are immunized with hapten mo
lecules that are specially designed to elicit antibodies that have binding pocke
ts capable of catalyzing chemical reactions. Binding forces within the antibody
binding pocket are req. to stabilize transition states and intermediates, thereb
y lowering a reaction's energy barrier and increasing its rate. This can occur w
hen the antibodies have a binding site that is complementary to a transition sta
te or intermediate structure in terms of both three-dimensional geometry and cha
rge distribution.
True transition states or intermediates can't be isolated or used as haptens for
immunization. Instead, so-called transition-state analog molecules are used. Tr
ansition-state analog molecules are stable molecules that simply resemble a tran
sition state (or intermediate) for a reaction of interest in terms of geometry a
nd charge distribution and thus lead to the catalytic acceleration of that react
The transition-state analog haptens only bind and do not react with catalytic an
tibodies. It is the substrates, for example, the analogous ester molecules that
react. For this reason, transition-state analog haptens can interfere with the c
atalytic reaction by binding in the antibody binding pocket, thereby preventing
any substrate molecules from binding and reacting. This inhibition is always obs
erved with catalytic antibodies, and is used as a first level of proof that cata
lytic antibodies are responsible for any observed catalytic reaction.
The important feature of catalysis by antibodies is that, unlike enzymes, a desi
red reaction selectivity can be programmed into the antibody by using an appropr
iately designed hapten. Catalytic antibodies almost always demonstrate a high de
gree of substrate selectivity. In addition, catalytic antibodies have been produ
ced that have regioselectivity sufficient to produce a single product for a reac
tion in which other products are normally observed in the absence of the antibod
y. Finally, catalytic antibodies have been produced by immunization with a singl
e-handed version (only left- or only right-handed) of a hapten, and only substra
tes with the same handedness can act as substrates for the resulting catalytic a
ntibodies. The net result is that a high degree of stereoselectivity is observed
in the antibody-catalyzed reaction.