It has previously been demonstrated that damaged arterial tissue can be acutely modified with protein-reactive polyethylene glycol (PEG) to block undesirable platelet deposition. This concept might be expanded by employing PEG-biotin and its strong interaction with avidin for site-specific targeted delivery. Toward this end, cultured endothelial cells (ECs) were surface modified with PEG-biotin and the available biotin was quantified with flow cytometry. NeutrAvidin-coated microspheres and PEG-biotin modified ECs with NeutrAvidin as a bridging molecule were delivered under arterial shear stress to PEG-biotin modified ECs on a coverslip as well as scrape-damaged bovine carotid arteries. After incubation with a 10 mM solution for 1 min, 8 × 107 PEG-biotin molecules/EC were found and persisted for up to 120 h. Perfused microspheres adhered to NHS-PEG-biotin treated bovine carotid arteries with 60 ± 16 microspheres/mm2 versus 11 ± 4 microspheres/mm2 for control arteries (p < 0.015). Similarly, 22 ± 5 targeted ECs/mm2 adhered to NHS-PEG-biotin treated bovine carotid arteries versus 6 ± 2 ECs/mm2 for control arteries (p < 0.01). The targeting strategy demonstrated here might ultimately find application for drug delivery, gene therapy, or cell therapy where localization to specific labeled vascular regions is desired following catheter-based or surgical procedures.
polyethylene glycol; targeted delivery; surface modification; biotin; avidin
The accurate quantification of antigens at low concentrations over a wide dynamic range is needed for identifying biomarkers associated with disease and detecting protein interactions in high-throughput microarrays used in proteomics. Here we report the development of an ultrasensitive quantitative assay format called immunoliposome polymerase chain reaction (ILPCR) that fulfills these requirements. This method uses a liposome, with reporter DNA encapsulated inside and biotin-labeled polyethylene glycol (PEG) phospholipid conjugates incorporated into the outer surface of the liposome, as a detection reagent. The antigenic target is immobilized in the well of a microplate by a capture antibody and the liposome detection reagent is then coupled to a biotin-labeled second antibody through a NeutrAvidin bridge. The liposome is ruptured to release the reporter DNA, which serves as a surrogate to quantify the protein target using real-time PCR.
A liposome detection reagent was prepared, which consisted of a population of liposomes ~120 nm in diameter with each liposome possessing ~800 accessible biotin receptors and ~220 encapsulated reporters. This liposome detection reagent was used in an assay to quantify the concentration of carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) in human serum. This ILPCR assay exhibited a linear dose–response curve from 10-10 M to 10-16 M CEA. Within this range the assay coefficient of variance was <6 % for repeatability and <2 % for reproducibility. The assay detection limit was 13 fg/mL, which is 1,500-times more sensitive than current clinical assays for CEA. An ILPCR assay to quantify HIV-1 p24 core protein in buffer was also developed.
The ILPCR assay has several advantages over other immuno-PCR methods. The reporter DNA and biotin-labeled PEG phospholipids spontaneously incorporate into the liposomes as they form, simplifying preparation of the detection reagent. Encapsulation of the reporter inside the liposomes allows nonspecific DNA in the assay medium to be degraded with DNase I prior to quantification of the encapsulated reporter by PCR, which reduces false-positive results and improves quantitative accuracy. The ability to encapsulate multiple reporters per liposome also helps overcome the effect of polymerase inhibitors present in biological specimens. Finally, the biotin-labeled liposome detection reagent can be coupled through a NeutrAvidin bridge to a multitude of biotin-labeled probes, making ILPCR a highly generic assay system.
West Nile (WN) virus was introduced into the United States in 1999, when the first human cases of WN fever and encephalitis appeared in New York City. From there, the virus has spread throughout North America, in some areas cocirculating with the related flavivirus St. Louis encephalitis (SLE) virus. Public health laboratories currently use an immunoglobulin M (IgM) antibody capture enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (MAC-ELISA) as a primary test for human serodiagnosis, followed by a confirmatory plaque-reduction neutralization test (PRNT). The MAC-ELISAs take 2 days to perform; therefore there is a need for a more rapid test. This report describes a duplex microsphere-based immunoassay (MIA) that shortens the test processing time to about 4.5 h. The assay employs two sets of microspheres coupled to a single flavivirus group-reactive antibody, which are used to capture the WN and SLE viral antigens independently. Immunoglobulin G-depleted serum is concurrently assayed for IgM antibodies to each of the viral antigens. The results are standardized and classified by using quadratic discriminant analysis so that a single result, anti-WN IgM-positive, anti-SLE IgM-positive, negative, or nonspecific, can be determined. The duplex MIA results compared favorably to those of the plaque-reduction neutralization test and MAC-ELISA. The assay proved to be reproducible, produced accurate classifications as to the infecting virus, and was specific.
We have developed surfaces for the selective presentation of biotinylated peptides and proteins in a background that resists nonspecific protein adsorption; controlled amounts of biotinylated polyethylene glycol (MW 3400; PEG3400) anchored to titanium-dioxide-coated surfaces via an adhesive tri-peptide sequence of l-3,4-dihydroxyphenylalanine (DOPA3-PEG3400-biotin; DPB) were incorporated within a DOPA3-PEG2000 background. Using optical waveguide lightmode spectroscopy, we found that the amounts of sequentially adsorbed NeutrAvidin and singly-biotinylated molecules increased proportionally with the amount of DPB in the surface. Biotinylated peptides (MW ca. 2000) were able to fill all three of the remaining avidin-binding sites, while only one molecule of biotinylated PEG5000 or stem cell factor bound to each avidin. The resulting biotin-avidin-biotin linkages were stable for prolonged periods under continuous perfusion, even in the presence of excess free biotin. Hematopoietic M07e cells bound to immobilized peptide ligands for α5β1 (cyclic RGD) and α4β1 (cylic LDV) integrins in a DPB-dose-dependent manner, with near-maximal binding to cylic LDV for surfaces containing 1% DPB. Multiple ligands were adsorbed in a controlled manner by incubating NeutrAvidin with the respective ligands in the desired molar ratio and then adding the resulting complexes to DPB-containing surfaces. Cell adhesion to surfaces containing both cylic LDV and cyclic RGD increased in an additive manner compared to that for the individual ligands. The bioactivity of adsorbed biotinylated stem cell factor was retained, as demonstrated by DPB-dose-dependent M07e cell adhesion and ERK1/2 activation.
This report details the incorporation of a water-soluble deep cavitand into a membrane bilayer assembled onto a nanoglassified surface for study of molecular recognition in a membrane-mimicking setting. The cavitand retains its host properties, and real-time analysis of the host:guest properties of the membrane:cavitand complex via surface plasmon resonance and fluorescence microscopy is described. The host shows selectivity for choline-derived substrates, and no competitive incorporation of substrate is observed in the membrane bilayer. A variety of trimethylammonium-derived substrates are suitable guests, displaying binding affinities in a millimolar range. The membrane:cavitand:guest complexes can be subsequently used to capture NeutrAvidin protein at the membrane surface if a biotin-derived guest molecule is used. The surface coverage of NeutrAvidin is affected by the spacer used to derivatize the biotin. Increased distance from the bilayer allows a higher concentration of protein to be immobilized, suggesting a diminishing detrimental steric effect when the binding event is shifted away from the surface.
We have created a fluorescent marker using a mutant EcoRI restriction endonuclease (K249C) that enables prolonged, direct visualization of specific sequences on genomic lengths of double-stranded (ds) DNA. The marker consists of a biotinylated enzyme, attached through the biotin-avidin interaction to a fluorescent nanosphere. Control over biotin position with respect to the enzyme’s binding pocket is achieved by biotinylating the mutant EcoRI at the mutation site. Biotinylated enzyme is incubated with dsDNA and NeutrAvidin-coated, fluorescent nanospheres under conditions that allow enzyme binding but prevent cleavage. Marker-laden DNA is then fluorescently stained and stretched on polylysine-coated glass slides so that the positions of the bound markers along individual DNA molecules can be measured. We demonstrate the marker’s ability to bind specifically to its target sequence using both bulk gel-shift assays and single-molecule methods.
Although the vital roles of sialic acid-containing structures in biomolecular recognition are well documented, limited information is available on how sialic acid structural modifications, sialyl linkages, and the underlying glycan structures affect the binding or the activity of sialic acid-recognizing proteins and related downstream biological processes. A novel combinatorial chemoenzymatic method has been developed for the highly efficient synthesis of biotinylated sialosides containing different sialic acid structures and different underlying glycans in 96-well plates from biotinylated sialyltransferase acceptors and sialic acid precursors. By transferring the reaction mixtures to NeutrAvidin-coated plates and assaying for the yields of enzymatic reactions using lectins recognizing sialyltransferase acceptors but not the sialylated products, the biotinylated sialoside products can be directly used, without purification, for high-throughput screening to quickly identify the ligand specificity of sialic acid-binding proteins. For a proof-of-principle experiment, 72 biotinylated α2,6-linked sialosides were synthesized in 96-well plates from 4 biotinylated sialyltransferase acceptors and 18 sialic acid precursors using a one-pot three-enzyme system. High-throughput screening assays performed in NeutrAvidin-coated microtiter plates show that while Sambucus nigra Lectin binds to α2,6-linked sialosides with high promiscuity, human Siglec-2 (CD22) is highly selective for a number of sialic acid structures and the underlying glycans in its sialoside ligands.
The development and validation of a microsphere immunoassay (MIA) to detect equine antibodies to the major structural proteins of equine arteritis virus (EAV) are described. The assay development process was based on the cloning and expression of genes for full-length individual major structural proteins (GP5 amino acids 1 to 255 [GP51-255], M1-162, and N1-110), as well as partial sequences of these structural proteins (GP51-116, GP575-112, GP555-98, M88-162, and N1-69) that constituted putative antigenic regions. Purified recombinant viral proteins expressed in Escherichia coli were covalently bound to fluorescent polystyrene microspheres and analyzed with the Luminex xMap 100 instrument. Of the eight recombinant proteins, the highest concordance with the virus neutralization test (VNT) results was obtained with the partial GP555-98 protein. The MIA was validated by testing a total of 2,500 equine serum samples previously characterized by the VNT. With the use of an optimal median fluorescence intensity cutoff value of 992, the sensitivity and specificity of the assay were 92.6% and 92.9%, respectively. The GP555-98 MIA and VNT outcomes correlated significantly (r = 0.84; P < 0.0001). Although the GP555-98 MIA is less sensitive than the standard VNT, it has the potential to provide a rapid, convenient, and more economical test for screening equine sera for the presence of antibodies to EAV, with the VNT then being used as a confirmatory assay.
A sensitive assay for the simultaneous detection of anti-cytomegalovirus and anti-herpes simplex virus antibodies was developed. Two different sizes of polystyrene microspheres were coated with purified viral antigens. Human antiviral antibodies were detected with a biotin-streptavidin amplification procedure with phycoerythrin as the fluorescent label. Microsphere-associated fluorescence was quantitated with a flow cytometer. Sixteen percent of samples initially scored as seronegative for cytomegalovirus and 35% of samples initially scored as seronegative for herpes simplex virus by conventional assays were clearly found positive by the microsphere technique. This flow cytometric assay can simultaneously detect several specific antibodies at levels which are below the sensitivity of standard assays. The dynamic range of this assay is at least sixfold greater than that of enzyme immunoassays. This technique is amenable to numerous serologic assays and could greatly expand the clinical laboratory applications of flow cytometry.
Lectins are carbohydrate binding proteins found in plants, animals and microorganisms. They serve as important models for understanding protein-carbohydrate interactions at the molecular level. We report here the fabrication of a novel sensing interface of biotinylated sialosides to probe lectin-carbohydrate interactions using surface plasmon resonance spectroscopy. The attachment of carbohydrates to the surface using biotin-NeutrAvidin interactions and the implementation of an inert hydrophilic hexaethylene glycol spacer between the biotin and the carbohydrate result in a well defined interface, enabling desired orientational flexibility and enhanced access of binding partners. The specificity and sensitivity of lectin binding were characterized using Sambucus nigra agglutinin (SNA) and other lectins including Maackia amurensis lectin (MAL), Concanavalin A (Con A), and wheat germ agglutinin (WGA). The results indicate that α2,6-linked sialosides exhibit high binding affinity to SNA, while alteration in sialyl linkage and terminal sialic acid structure compromises the affinity by a varied degree. Quantitative analysis yields an association constant (Ka) of 1.29 × 106 M−1 for SNA binding to Neu5Aca2,6-LHEB and a dissociation constant (KD) of 777 ± 93 nM. A linear relationship was obtained in the 10–100 μg/mL range with LOD of ~50 nM. Weak interactions with MAL, Con A and WGA were also quantified. The control experiment with bovine serum albumin indicates that nonspecific interaction on this surface is insignificant over the concentration range studied. Multiple experiments can be performed on the same substrate using a glycine stripping buffer, which selectively regenerates the surface without damaging the sialoside or the biotin-NeutrAvidin interface. This surface design retains a high degree of native affinity for the carbohydrate motifs, allowing distinction of sialyl linkages and investigation pertaining to the effect of functional group on binding efficiency. It could be easily modified to identify and quantify binding patterns of any low-affinity biologically relevant systems, opening new avenues for probing carbohydrate-protein interactions in real-time.
We have investigated the possibility of using element-tagged antibodies for protein detection and quantification in microplate format using Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry (ICP-MS), and compared the results to conventional immunoassays, such as Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay (ELISA) and Western blotting. The technique was further employed to detect low levels and measure DNA-binding activity of transcription factor p53 in leukemia cell lysates through its interaction with immobilized oligonucleotides and recognition by element-tagged antibodies. The advantages of ICP-MS detection for routine performance of immunoassays include increased sensitivity, wide dynamic range, minimal interference from complex matrices, and high throughput. Our approach advances the ICP-MS technology and demonstrates its applicability to proteomic studies through the use of antibodies directly labeled with polymer tags bearing multiple atoms of lanthanides. Development of this novel methodology will enable fast and quantitative identification of multiple analytes in a single well.
ELISA; ICP-MS; element-tagged antibody; lanthanides; growth factors; transcription factor p53
A microsphere-based immunoassay (MIA) was previously developed that is capable of determining the presence of anti-West Nile (WN) virus or anti-St. Louis encephalitis (SLE) virus immunoglobulin M (IgM) antibodies in human serum or cerebrospinal fluid. The original data set on which the classification rules were based comprised 491 serum specimens obtained from the serum bank at the Division of Vector-Borne Infectious Diseases of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (DVBID). The classification rules were used to provide a result and to determine whether confirmatory testing was necessary for a given sample. A validation study was coordinated between the DVBID and five state health laboratories to determine (i) the reproducibility of the test between different laboratories, (ii) the correlation between the IgM-enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (MAC-ELISA) and the MIA, and (iii) whether the initial nonspecific parameters could be refined to reduce the volume of confirmatory testing. Laboratorians were trained in the method, and reagents and data analysis software developed at the DVBID were shipped to each validating laboratory. Validating laboratories performed tests on approximately 200 samples obtained from their individual states, the collections of which comprised approximately equal numbers of WN virus-positive and -negative samples, as determined by MAC-ELISA. In addition, 377 samples submitted to the DVBID for arbovirus testing were analyzed using the MIA and MAC-ELISA at the DVBID only. For the specimens tested at both the state and the DVBID laboratories, a correlation of results indicated that the technology is readily transferable between laboratories. The detection of IgM antibodies to WN virus was more consistent than detection of IgM antibodies to SLE virus. Some changes were made to the analysis software that resulted in an improved accuracy of diagnosis.
A new acoustically-active delivery vehicle was developed by conjugating liposomes and microbubbles, using the high affinity interaction between avidin and biotin. Binding between microbubbles and liposomes each containing 5% DSPE-PEG2kBiotin was highly dependent on avidin concentration and observed above an avidin concentration of 10 nM. With an optimized avidin and liposome concentration, we measured and calculated as high as 1000 to 10,000 liposomes with average diameters of 200 and 100 nm, respectively, attached to each microbubble. Replacing avidin with neutravidin resulted in 3-fold higher binding, approaching the calculated saturation level. High-speed photography of this new drug delivery vehicle demonstrated that the liposome-bearing microbubbles oscillate in response to an acoustic pulse similar to microbubble contrast agents. Additionally, microbubbles carrying liposomes could be spatially concentrated on a monolayer of PC-3 cells at the focal point of ultrasound beam. As a result of cell-vehicle contact, the liposomes fused with the cells and internalization of NBD-cholesterol occurred shortly after incubation at 37°C, with internalization of NBD-cholesterol substantially enhanced in the acoustic focus.
Microbubble; Liposome; Ultrasound Radiation Forces; Delivery Vehicle
Cytokines are essential signaling molecules that mediate the innate immune response, and therefore their presence can be of diagnostic, prognostic, and pathogenic significance. Microsphere-based immunoassays allow rapid and accurate evaluation of cytokine levels in several species, including humans, dogs, and mice; however, technology to evaluate domestic cat (Felis catus) cytokines has been limited to single-analyte enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISAs). Microsphere-based immunoassays provide an attractive alternative technology for detecting and quantifying multiple analytes in a single assay using as little as 50 μl of sample. We describe the development and validation of a microsphere-based assay for three commonly analyzed domestic cat cytokines (gamma interferon, interleukin-10, and interleukin-12/interleukin-23 p40) using reagents from commercially available ELISAs. The assay was optimized for capture and detection antibody concentrations, streptavidin-phycoerythrin concentration, and number of microspheres. The validated lower and upper quantitation limits were 31 and 1,000 pg/ml for gamma interferon, 63 and 2,000 pg/ml for interleukin-10, and 39 and 625 pg/ml for interleukin-12/interleukin-23 p40. Cytokine concentrations in peripheral blood mononuclear cell supernatants were measured, and results obtained by the microsphere assay were correlated with values obtained with commercially available ELISA kits. This technology is a convenient and reproducible assay to evaluate domestic cat cytokine responses elicited by a variety of diseases.
To enhance preclinical evaluation of serological immune responses to the individual diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis (DTP) components of DTP combination vaccines, a fast hexavalent bead-based method was developed. This multiplex immunoassay (MIA) can simultaneously determine levels of specific mouse serum IgG antibodies to P antigens P.69 pertactin (P.69 Prn), filamentous hemagglutinin (FHA), pertussis toxin (Ptx), and combined fimbria type 2 and 3 antigens (Fim2/3) and to diphtheria toxin (Dtx) and tetanus toxin (TT) in a single well. The mouse DTP MIA was shown to be specific and sensitive and to correlate with the six single in-house enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISAs) for all antigens. Moreover, the MIA was expanded to include avidity measurements of DTP antigens in a multivalent manner. The sensitivities of the mouse DTP avidity MIA per antigen were comparable to those of the six individual in-house avidity ELISAs, and good correlations between IgG concentrations obtained by both methods for all antigens tested were shown. The regular and avidity mouse DTP MIAs were reproducible, with good intra- and interassay coefficients of variability (CV) for all antigens. Finally, the usefulness of the assay was demonstrated in a longitudinal study of the development and avidity maturation of specific IgG antibodies in mice having received different DTP vaccines. We conclude that the hexaplex mouse DTP MIA is a specific, sensitive, and high-throughput alternative for ELISA to investigate the quantity and quality of serological responses to DTP antigens in preclinical vaccine studies.
Nanopore sequencing has the potential to become a fast and low-cost DNA sequencing platform. An ionic current passing through a small pore would directly map the sequence of single stranded DNA (ssDNA) driven through the constriction. The pore protein, MspA, derived from Mycobacterium smegmatis, has a short and narrow channel constriction ideally suited for nanopore sequencing. To study MspA's ability to resolve nucleotides, we held ssDNA within the pore using a biotin-NeutrAvidin complex. We show that homopolymers of adenine, cytosine, thymine, and guanine in MspA exhibit much larger current differences than in α-hemolysin. Additionally, methylated cytosine is distinguishable from unmethylated cytosine. We establish that single nucleotide substitutions within homopolymer ssDNA can be detected when held in MspA's constriction. Using genomic single nucleotide polymorphisms, we demonstrate that single nucleotides within random DNA can be identified. Our results indicate that MspA has high signal-to-noise ratio and the single nucleotide sensitivity desired for nanopore sequencing devices.
Direct modulation of gene expression by targeting oncogenic transcription factors is a new area of research for cancer treatment. ERG, an ETS-family transcription factor, is commonly over-expressed or translocated in leukaemia and prostate carcinoma. In this work, we selected the di-(thiophene-phenyl-amidine) compound DB1255 as an ERG/DNA binding inhibitor using a screening test of synthetic inhibitors of the ERG/DNA interaction followed by electrophoretic mobility shift assays (EMSA) validation. Spectrometry, footprint and biosensor-surface plasmon resonance analyses of the DB1255/DNA interaction evidenced sequence selectivity and groove binding as dimer. Additional EMSA evidenced the precise DNA-binding sequence required for optimal DB1255/DNA binding and thus for an efficient ERG/DNA complex inhibition. We further highlighted the structure activity relationships from comparison with derivatives. In cellulo luciferase assay confirmed this modulation both with the constructed optimal sequences and the Osteopontin promoter known to be regulated by ERG and which ERG-binding site was protected from DNaseI digestion on binding of DB1255. These data showed for the first time the ERG/DNA complex modulation, both in vitro and in cells, by a heterocyclic diamidine that specifically targets a portion of the ERG DNA recognition site.
Cell adhesion between cells and with the extracellular matrix (ECM) results in dramatic changes in cell organization and, in particular, the cytoskeleton and plasma membrane domains involved in adhesion. However, current methods to analyze these changes are limited because of the small areas of membrane involved in adhesion, compared to the areas of membrane not adhering (a signal to noise problem), and the difficulty in accessing native protein complexes directly for imaging or reconstitution with purified proteins. The methods described here overcome these problems. Using a mammalian expression system, a chimeric protein comprising the extracellular domain of E-cadherin fused at its C-terminus to the Fc domain of human IgG1 (E-cadherin:Fc) is expressed and purified. A chemical bridge of biotin-NeutrAvidin-biotinylated Protein G bound to a silanized glass cover slip is fabricated to which the E-cadherin:Fc chimera binds in the correct orientation for adhesion by cells. After cell attachment, the basal membrane (a contact formed between cellular E-cadherin and the E-cadherin:Fc substratum) is isolated by sonication; a similar method is described to isolate basal membranes of cells attached to ECM. These membrane patches provide direct access to protein complexes formed on the membrane following cell-cell or cell-ECM adhesion.
Epithelial cells; polarity; plasma membrane; membrane domains; cell–cell adhesion; cell–extracellular matrix adhesion; cadherin; integrin; collagen; substrate; plasma membrane; cytoskeleton; actin; microtubules; membrane patches
Transcription factor (TF) purification and identification is an important step in elucidating gene regulatory mechanisms. In this study, we present two new electrophoretic mobility shift assay (EMSA)-based multi-dimensional electrophoresis approaches to isolate and characterize TFs, using detection with either southwestern or western blotting and HPLC-nanoESI-MS/MS analysis for identification. These new techniques involve several major steps. First, EMSA is performed with agents that diminish non-specific DNA-binding and the DNA-protein complex is separated by native PAGE gel. The gel is then electrotransferred to PVDF membrane and visualized by autoradiography. Next, the DNA-protein complex, which has been transferred onto the blot, is extracted using a detergent-containing elution buffer. Following detergent removal, concentrated extract is separated by SDS-PAGE (EMSA-2DE), followed by in-gel trypsin digestion and HPLC-nanoESI-MS/MS analysis, or the concentrated extract is separated by two-dimensional gel electrophoresis EMSA-3DE), followed by southwestern or western blot analysis to localize DNA binding proteins on blot which are further identified by on-blot trypsin digestion and HPLC-nanoESI-MS/MS analysis. Finally, the identified DNA binding proteins are further validated by EMSA-immunoblotting or EMSA antibody supershift assay. This approach is used to purify and identify GFP-C/EBP fusion protein from bacterial crude extract, as well as purifying AP1 and CEBP DNA binding proteins from a human embryonic kidney cell line (HEK293) nuclear extract. AP1 components, c-Jun, Jun-D, c-Fos, CREB, ATF1 and ATF2 were successfully identified from 1.5 mg of nuclear extract (equivalent to 3 ×107 HEK293 cells) with AP1 binding activity of 750 fmol. In conclusion, this new strategy of combining EMSA with additional dimensions of electrophoresis and using southwestern blotting for detection proves to be a valuable approach in the identification of transcriptional complexes by proteomic methods.
Electrophoresis; Transcription Factor; Proteomics; AP1; C/EBP
Immunopathogenesis studies employing West Nile virus (WNV) mice model are important for the development of antivirals and vaccines against WNV. Since antibodies produced in mice early during WNV infection are essential for clearing virus from the periphery, it is important to detect early and persistent anti-WNV antibodies. ELISA and plaque reduction neutralization tests are traditionally used for detection of anti-WNV antibodies and WNV-neutralizing antibodies, respectively. Although these assays are sensitive and specific, they are expensive and time consuming. Microsphere immunoassays (MIA) are sensitive, specific, allow for high throughput, are cost effective, require less time to perform than other methods, and require low serum volumes. Several assay parameters such as serum heat-inactivation (HI) and dilution can alter WNV MIA sensitivity. We examined the effect of these parameters on WNV E-protein MIA (WNV E-MIA) for the enhanced detection of anti-WNV IgM and IgG antibodies. WNV E-MIA was conducted using serial dilutions of HI and non-HI (NHI) serum collected at various time points from mice inoculated with WNV. HI significantly enhanced detection of IgM and IgG antibodies as compared to NHI serum. WNV IgM and IgG antibodies in HI sera were detected earlier at day 3 and IgM antibodies persisted up to day 24 after infection. HI serum at 1∶20 dilution was found to be optimal for detection of both IgM and IgG antibodies as compared to higher-serum dilutions. Further, addition of exogenous complement to the HI serum decreased the WNV E-MIA sensitivity. These results suggest that serum-HI and optimal dilution enhance WNV E-MIA sensitivity by eliminating the complement interference, thereby detecting low-titer anti-WNV antibodies during early and late phases of infection. This improved MIA can also be readily employed for detection of low-titer antibodies for detection of other infectious agents and host proteins.
The kappa B transcriptional enhancer motif, present in many viruses, is broadly active in many cell types. It is recognized by c-Rel/HIVEN86A in DNA affinity precipitation (DNAP) assays and by the Rel-related p50 and p65 subunits of the nuclear factor NF-kappa B in electrophoretic mobility shift assays (EMSA). We have analyzed activities that bind the human immunodeficiency virus type 1 and simian virus 40 kappa B motifs in two human leukemia cell lines, Jurkat and H9. In both DNAP and EMSA analyses of Jurkat cell extracts, we detected multiple kappa B motif-binding activities in addition to c-Rel/HIVEN86A and p50-p65 NF-kappa B. In Jurkat cell nuclear extracts, EMSA analysis revealed at least six specific DNA-protein complexes, of which one comigrated with the p50-p65 NF-kappa B complex. Formation of all six complexes was enhanced by stimulation of the cells with phorbol 12-myristate-13-acetate and phytohemagglutinin but was differentially affected by the salt concentration in the binding reaction and by the conditions of Jurkat cell growth. Nuclear extracts from both unstimulated and stimulated H9 cells revealed similar levels of five kappa B motif-specific complexes, all of which displayed mobilities distinct from those of the Jurkat cell complexes. Indeed, a complex corresponding to p50-p65 NF-kappa B was not detectable in nuclear extracts from unstimulated H9 cells although such a complex was apparent in nuclear extracts from stimulated H9 cells. In contrast to the inducibility of a p50-p65 NF-kappa B-like complex, transcriptional enhancers composed of multimerized kappa B motifs displayed similar high levels of activity in both the unstimulated and stimulated H9 cells. Thus, the activity of the kappa B motif in H9 cells corresponded to the abundance of the H9 cell-specific kappa B motif complexes and not to the levels of p50-p65 NF-kappa B complex. These results suggest that the broad activity of the kappa B enhancer element is not only due to the broadly distributed NF-kappa B activator but also to cell type-specific kappa B motif-binding activities.
Development of an ultrasensitive biosensor for biological hazards in the environment is a major need for pollutant control and for the detection of biological warfare. Fluorescence methods combined with immunodiagnostic methods are the most common. To minimize background noise, arising from the unspecific adsorption effect, we have adapted the FRET (frequency resonance energy transfer) effect to the immunofluorescence method. FRET will increase the selectivity of the diagnosis process by introducing a requirement for two different reporter molecules that have to label the antigen surface at a distance that will enable FRET. Utilizing the multiparameter capability of flow cytometry analysis to analyze the double-labeling/FRET immunostaining will lead to a highly selective and sensitive diagnostic method. This work examined the FRET interaction of fluorescence-labeled avidin molecules on biotin-coated microspheres as a model system. As target system, we have used labeled polyclonal antibodies on Bacillus anthracis spores. The antibodies used were purified immunoglobulin G (IgG) molecules raised in rabbits against B. anthracis exosoporium components. The antibodies were fluorescence labeled by a donor-acceptor chromophore pair, alexa488 as a donor and alexa594 as an acceptor. On labeling the spores with alexa488-IgG as a donor and alexa594-IgG as an acceptor, excitation at 488 nm results in quenching of the alexa-488 fluorescence (Eq = 35%) and appearance of the alexa594 fluorescence (Es = 22%), as detected by flow cytometry analysis. The FRET effect leads to a further isolated gate (FL1/FL3) for the target spores compared to competitive spores such as B. thuringiensis subsp. israelensis and B. subtilis. This new approach, combining FRET labeling and flow cytometry analysis, improved the selectivity of the B. anthracis spores by a factor of 10 with respect to B. thuringiensis subsp. israelensis and a factor of 100 with respect to B. subtilis as control spores.
We have developed a new method using the Qbead™ system for high-throughput genotyping of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). The Qbead system employs fluorescent Qdot™ semiconductor nanocrystals, also known as quantum dots, to encode microspheres that subsequently can be used as a platform for multiplexed assays. By combining mixtures of quantum dots with distinct emission wavelengths and intensities, unique spectral ‘barcodes’ are created that enable the high levels of multiplexing required for complex genetic analyses. Here, we applied the Qbead system to SNP genotyping by encoding microspheres conjugated to allele-specific oligonucleotides. After hybridization of oligonucleotides to amplicons produced by multiplexed PCR of genomic DNA, individual microspheres are analyzed by flow cytometry and each SNP is distinguished by its unique spectral barcode. Using 10 model SNPs, we validated the Qbead system as an accurate and reliable technique for multiplexed SNP genotyping. By modifying the types of probes conjugated to microspheres, the Qbead system can easily be adapted to other assay chemistries for SNP genotyping as well as to other applications such as analysis of gene expression and protein–protein interactions. With its capability for high-throughput automation, the Qbead system has the potential to be a robust and cost-effective platform for a number of applications.
HMGA1 proteins are architectural transcription factors that are overexpressed by pancreatic adenocarcinomas. Roles of HMGA1 in mediating the malignant phenotype of this cancer are poorly understood. We tested the hypothesis that overexpression of HMGA1 promotes resistance to anoikis (apoptosis induced by anchorage deprivation) in pancreatic cancer cells. HMGA1 cDNA was stably transfected into MiaPaCa2 human pancreatic adenocarcinoma cells (which have low baseline expression levels of HMGA1). Cells were grown in suspension on PolyHEMA-coated plates and their susceptibility to anoikis was assayed using flow cytometry. Overexpression of HMGA1 was associated with marked reductions in susceptibility to anoikis in concert with increases in Akt phosphorylation (Ser473) and in Akt kinase activity and with reductions in caspase 3 activation. Inhibition of phosphoinositidyl-3 (PI3-K)/Akt pathway with either the small molecule inhibitor LY294002 or dominant-negative Akt resulted in reversal of anoikis resistance induced by HMGA1 overexpression. Further, RNA interference-mediated HMGA1 silencing in MiaPaCa2 and BxPC3 (a human pancreatic adenocarcinoma cell line with high baseline levels of HMGA1 expression) cells resulted in significant increases in susceptibility to anoikis. Our findings suggest HMGA1 promotes anoikis resistance through a PI3-K/Akt-dependent mechanism. Given the putative associations between anoikis resistance and metastatic potential, HMGA1 represents a potential therapeutic target in pancreatic adenocarcinoma.
HMGA1; Akt; anoikis; pancreatic adenocarcinoma
A multiplexed human papillomavirus (HPV) immunoassay has been developed for the detection of human IgG antibodies to HPV type 6, 11, 16, 18, 31, 33, 45, 52, and 58 virus-like particle (VLP) types in serum following natural infection or immunization with VLP-based vaccines. The VLP antigens were covalently conjugated to carboxyl Luminex microspheres (MS) using a carbodiimide chemistry. Antibody (Ab) titers were determined in a direct binding format, in which an IgG1- to -4-specific, phycoerythrin (PE)-labeled monoclonal antibody (MAb) (HP6043) binds to human serum IgG antibodies. Pooled serum samples from rhesus macaques immunized with a 9-valent VLP-based vaccine served as the reference standard. The overall specificity of the assay was >99%, and the linearity (parallelism) of the assay was <7% per 10-fold dilution. Total assay precision was <19% across 3 different VLP-microsphere lots, 2 secondary antibody lots, and 2 different operators over a period of 3 weeks. Three different methods were used to evaluate serostatus cutoffs (SCO): (i) a clinical sensitivity/specificity analysis based on “likely negative” and “likely positive” samples from nonvaccinees, (ii) stringent upper tolerance limits on samples from “likely negatives,” and (iii) stringent upper tolerance limits from the same “likely negative” sample set after VLP adsorption. Depending on the method to set the serostatus cutoff, the percentage of seropositive samples at the month 48 time point following vaccination with the HPV 6/11/16/18 quadrivalent vaccine ranged from 70% to 100%. This assay has proven useful for measuring the levels of serum antibody to the nine HPV VLPs following natural infection or administration of VLP-based vaccines.