RNA (New York, N.Y.)

A multifunctional human Argonaute2-specific monoclonal antibody.

PMID 18430891


Small regulatory RNAs including small interfering RNAs (siRNAs), microRNAs (miRNAs), or Piwi interacting RNAs (piRNAs) guide regulation of gene expression in many different organisms. The Argonaute (Ago) protein family constitutes the cellular binding partners of such small RNAs and regulates gene expression on the levels of transcription, mRNA stability, or translation. Due to the lack of highly specific and potent monoclonal antibodies directed against the different Ago proteins, biochemical analyses such as Ago complex purification and characterization rely on overexpression of tagged Ago proteins. Here, we report the generation and functional characterization of a highly specific monoclonal anti-Ago2 antibody termed anti-Ago2(11A9). We show that anti-Ago2(11A9) is specific for human Ago2 and detects Ago2 in Western blots as well as in immunoprecipitation experiments. We further demonstrate that Ago2 can be efficiently eluted from our antibody by a competing peptide. Finally, we show that anti-Ago2(11A9) recognizes Ago2 in immunofluorescence experiments, and we find that Ago2 not only localizes to cytoplasmic processing bodies (P-bodies) and the diffuse cytoplasm but also to the nucleus. With the anti-Ago2(11A9) antibody we have generated a potent tool that is useful for many biochemical or cell biological applications.