As with other species, rabbits apply V(D)J recombination and somatic hypermutation to shape antibody specificities and affinities. However, in contrast to mice, rats or humans, the rabbit immune system uses a mechanism of gene conversion which strongly increases the ability of the immune system to generate highly diverse antibodies. As the gene conversion process in the rabbit starts during early embryo development, each animal represents a unique genetic starting point with no common germline.
In contrast to transgenic animals, wildtype animals have all the unique epigenetic, gene-regulatory and non-coding RNA-mediated regulatory mechanisms in place to elicit a potent immune response to the selected immunogen and generate the most diverse set of antibodies to it.
MAB Discovery combines the right immunization schedule, the right timing of B-cell isolation, the right source of B-cells and the right downstream technology in a unique technology platform to harness the attributes of the exquisite immune response of these animals. The results are large and diverse sets of functional, high affinity antibodies for which further affinity maturation is not required.