A supramolecular hydrogel to boost the production of antibodies for phosphorylated proteins†
Antibodies are widely used both in clinical practice and in research. However, the development of methods to increase the ratio of antibodies to recognize phosphorylated proteins remains challenging. In this study, we report a novel and useful method for the efficient production of antibodies for phosphorylated proteins. Based on our previously developed vaccine adjuvant Nap-GDFDFDY, we prepared hydrogels by the Ca2+-induced self-assembly of a phosphorylated peptide gelator Nap-GDFDFpDY. The hydrogel could protect phosphorylated antigens from being dephosphorylated by endogenous phosphatase, thus selectively increasing the ratio of the antibodies for phosphorylated proteins. Our study provides a useful strategy for the production of antibodies to recognize proteins with specific posttranslational modifications.