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An antibody, or immunoglobulin, is a protein produced by the immune system when it detects harmful substances called antigens. Typically the antigen is a protein, but polysaccharides, lipids, and nucleic acids can also be antigenic. Antibodies bind antigens preventing them from entering or damaging cells. Antibodies also stimulate removal of antigens by triggering the appropriate antigen destruction pathway in the immune system. Each antibody consists of four polypeptides û two heavy chains and two light chains joined to form a Y shaped molecule. Antibodies are divided into five major classes, IgM, IgG, Iga, IgD, and IgE, based on the type of heavy chains they possess. Different antibodies perform different roles, and help direct the appropriate immune response for each type of antigen they encounter. Alfa Aesar produces antibodies to several cytoskeletal proteins, lipoproteins and growth factors.