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Preservation of whole antibodies within ancient teeth

Shaw, B, McDonnell, T, Radley, E, Thomas, B, Smith, L, Davenport, CAL, Gonzalez, S, Rahman, A and Layfield, R (2023) Preservation of whole antibodies within ancient teeth. iScience, 26 (9). ISSN 2589-0042

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Archaeological remains can preserve some proteins into deep time, offering remarkable opportunities for probing past events in human history. Recovering functional proteins from skeletal tissues could uncover a molecular memory related to the life-history of the associated remains. We demonstrate affinity purification of whole antibody molecules from medieval human teeth, dating to the 13th–15th centuries, from skeletons with different putative pathologies. Purified antibodies are intact retaining disulphide-linkages, are amenable to primary sequences analysis, and demonstrate apparent immunoreactivity against contemporary EBV antigen on western blot. Our observations highlight the potential of ancient antibodies to provide insights into the long-term association between host immune factors and ancient microbes, and more broadly retain a molecular memory related to the natural history of human health and immunity.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Biological sciences; Paleobiochemistry; Paleobiology
Subjects: C Auxiliary Sciences of History > CC Archaeology
Q Science > QH Natural history > QH301 Biology
Divisions: Biological & Environmental Sciences (from Sep 19)
Publisher: Cell Press
SWORD Depositor: A Symplectic
Date Deposited: 19 Mar 2024 13:47
Last Modified: 19 Mar 2024 14:00
DOI or ID number: 10.1016/j.isci.2023.107575
URI: https://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/22850
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