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Papers of the Week

Papers: 24 Dec 2022 - 30 Dec 2022

2022 Dec 16

Int J Mol Sci



Characterization of Antibodies against Receptor Activity-Modifying Protein 1 (RAMP1): A Cautionary Tale.


Hendrikse ER, Rees TA, Tasma Z, Garelja ML, Siow A, Harris PWR, Pawlak JB, Caron KM, Blakeney ES, Russo AF, Sowers LP, Lutz TA, Le Foll C, Walker CS, Hay DL
Int J Mol Sci. 2022 Dec 16; 23(24).
PMID: 36555690.


Calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) is a key component of migraine pathophysiology, yielding effective migraine therapeutics. CGRP receptors contain a core accessory protein subunit: receptor activity-modifying protein 1 (RAMP1). Understanding of RAMP1 expression is incomplete, partly due to the challenges in identifying specific and validated antibody tools. We profiled antibodies for immunodetection of RAMP1 using Western blotting, immunocytochemistry and immunohistochemistry, including using RAMP1 knockout mouse tissue. Most antibodies could detect RAMP1 in Western blotting and immunocytochemistry using transfected cells. Two antibodies (844, ab256575) could detect a RAMP1-like band in Western blots of rodent brain but not RAMP1 knockout mice. However, cross-reactivity with other proteins was evident for all antibodies. This cross-reactivity prevented clear conclusions about RAMP1 anatomical localization, as each antibody detected a distinct pattern of immunoreactivity in rodent brain. We cannot confidently attribute immunoreactivity produced by RAMP1 antibodies (including 844) to the presence of RAMP1 protein in immunohistochemical applications in brain tissue. RAMP1 expression in brain and other tissues therefore needs to be revisited using RAMP1 antibodies that have been comprehensively validated using multiple strategies to establish multiple lines of convincing evidence. As RAMP1 is important for other GPCR/ligand pairings, our results have broader significance beyond the CGRP field.