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Barcoded sequencing workflow for high throughput digitization of hybridoma antibody variable domain sequences

Chen, Yongmei, Kim, Si Hyun, Shang, Yonglei, Guillory, Joseph, Stinson, Jeremy, Zhang, Qing, Hötzel, Isidro, Hoi, Kam Hon
Journal of immunological methods 2018 v.455 pp. 88-94
B-lymphocytes, antigens, bioinformatics, clones, complement, cryopreservation, high-throughput nucleotide sequencing, hybridomas, monoclonal antibodies, recombinant DNA, robots, screening, storage
Since the invention of Hybridoma technology by Milstein and Köhler in 1975, its application has greatly advanced the antibody discovery process. The technology enables both functional screening and long-term archival of the immortalized monoclonal antibody producing B cells. Despite the dependable cryopreservation technology for hybridoma cells, practicality of long-term storage has been outpaced by recent progress in robotics and automations, which enables routine identification of thousands of antigen specific hybridoma clones. Such throughput increase imposes two nascent challenges in the antibody discovery process, namely limited cryopreservation storage space and limited throughput in conventional antibody sequencing. We herein provide a barcoded sequencing workflow that utilizes next generation sequencing to expand the conventional sequencing capacity. Accompanied with the bioinformatics tools we describe, the barcoded sequencing workflow robustly reports unambiguous antibody sequences as confirmed with Sanger sequencing controls. In complement with the commonly accessible recombinant DNA technology, the barcoded sequencing workflow allows for high throughput digitization of the antibody sequences and provides an effective solution to the limitations imposed by physical storage and sequencing capacity.