What is Serological Analysis of cDNA expression library?

I went through this article:
but could not really make out. Can someone please explain this to me in a simpler manner?

(I have not studied biology since last 8 years and now I am going through it because I need it for my research. So if someone can describe it in simple language it would be very helpful)


With this method you want to identify proteins on cancer cells which are immunogenic so you can use them to boost an immune response against the cancer cells.

To do so, you extract the complete mRNA from a cancer. These mRNAs represent all the genes which this cancers expresses (which then also contains the immunogenic proteins). These mRNAs are cloned into bacteriophages (viruses that only infect bacteria) and are then used to infect bacteria. During this infection the virus expresses the protein which has been cloned into his sequence and which originates from the cancer cell. The infection of the bacteria leads to the formation of plaques (wholes) in the bacteria which grow on the surface of a culture plate.

You then use the serum of cancer patients on these expressed proteins to see, if there are antibodies which can recognize these cancer antigens (and could be used to detect and mark them). If there are proteins which only react to the sera of cancer patients but not to controls (to exclude) unspecific reactions, then these proteins are identified and can be used to generate antibodies against this specific cancer type. It works like in the figure below (from this paper):

enter image description here

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    $\begingroup$ I hope this is understandable. If there are any questions, let me know. $\endgroup$ – Chris Sep 9 '14 at 8:33
  • $\begingroup$ " mRNAs are cloned into bacteriophages (viruses that only infect bacteria) and are then used to infect bacteria." so basically the bacteria now has the characteristics of the cancer cell? Meaning it becomes a substitute for cancer cell right?? $\endgroup$ – girl101 Sep 16 '14 at 4:39
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    $\begingroup$ @user3237995 No, the virus expresses (as a part of the genome of the virus) one of the proteins from the cancer cell. The virus causes then the bacteria to lyse (destroys them) which releases this protein. $\endgroup$ – Chris Sep 16 '14 at 6:34
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    $\begingroup$ If you look on the image above, then you see these plaques in the bacteria. This is caused by the infection of the bacteria with a virus. The bacteria are used to produce the cancer protein and get subsequently destroyed. This is useful as it releases the protein for further testing. $\endgroup$ – Chris Sep 16 '14 at 13:31
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    $\begingroup$ It means that these proteins from the cancer cell cause an immune response. The hope is to mount this immune response against the cancer cell. To be able to do so, you have to be sure, that you are not targeting other cells of the body as well, which would obviously have bad effects. $\endgroup$ – Chris Sep 16 '14 at 18:35

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