S100B is a hot target in today's neuroscience and cancer labs.

Contributed by Amy Archuleta

Scientists have been studying the S100 family of proteins for over 60 years.

S100 proteins regulate a variety of cellular processes despite their relatively small size (8-12 kDa) and simple structure. This family of proteins has been studied for over 60 years, and their relevance continues to be a source of interest to neuroscientists and medical researchers in both cell biology and disease.

S100B was first identified as a neurotrophic factor.

First identified in the 1960s, S100 proteins in the brain were given their moniker due to the fact that they are soluble in a 100% saturated ammonium sulfate solution. In the 1970s and 1980s, researchers first identified S100B, which is found primarily in astrocytes and functions as a calcium binding protein. In the 1990s, studies began to highlight S100B's role as a neurotrophic factor, promoting the growth and survival of neurons. This discovery expanded the understanding of its significance in brain development and plasticity. This led to further studies of S100B’s role as a biomarker for a variety of brain-related conditions including neurodegenerative diseases, mood disorders, schizophrenia, and TBI.

S100B is a calcium-binding protein with implications the study of a variety of neurological conditions and diseases.

A homodimeric protein, S100B consists of 2 beta chains which can bind 2 calcium molecules per monomer, and has multifaceted relevance in neurology. Since it is found primarily in astrocytes, it can function as a biomarker for brain injury and other neurological conditions, and an elevated level of S100B in the blood can indicate brain damage. It also plays a role in neuroprotection and neuroinflammation and can act in both a protective and detrimental role in neurons. This duality makes an understanding of its function even more essential. Also implicated in psychiatric diseases, elevated levels of S100B have been associated with conditions such as schizophrenia and mood disorders. Research is ongoing to determine whether it can be used as a diagnostic marker and/or therapeutic target.

S100B has a role in systems throughout the body.

Beyond the CNS, studies are ongoing focusing on S100B’s role in both cancer and cardiovascular disease. To date, it has been used as a diagnostic marker in cancer, primarily melanoma, with more recent studies in lung and breast cancers. Its role in cardiovascular disease is just starting to be studied, with elevated levels of the protein observed in atherosclerosis, cardiac injury, and heart failure.

S100B’s reach is broad and it remains a hot target for researchers today. As the world’s leading producer of highly-validated chicken antibodies we’ve been making multiplexing easy for over 20 years. Simplify your science with our new chicken anti-S100B antibody.

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