At the crossroads of chemistry and immunology: Catalytic antibodies

Richard A. Lerner, Stephen J. Benkovic, Peter G. Schultz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

682 Scopus citations


Immunochemistry has historically focused on the nature of antigenicity and antibody-antigen recognition. However, in the last 5 years, the field of immunochemistry has taken a new direction. With the aid of mechanistic and synthetic chemistry, the vast network of molecules and cells of the immune system has been tapped to produce antibodies with a new function - catalytic antibodies. Because antibodies can be generated that selectively bind almost any molecule of interest, this new technology offers the potential to tailor-make highly selective catalysts for applications in biology, chemistry, and medicine. In addition, catalytic antibodies provide fundamental insight into important aspects of biological catalysis, including the importance of transition-state stabilization, proximity effects, general acid and base catalysts, electrophilic and nucleophilic catalysis, and strain.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)659-667
Number of pages9
Issue number5006
StatePublished - Jan 1 1991

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General


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