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1.  Novel human recombinant antibodies against Mycobacterium tuberculosis antigen 85B 
BMC Biotechnology  2014;14:68.
Background
Tuberculosis is the leading cause of death due to bacterial infections worldwide, mainly caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis. The antigen 85 complex comprises a set of major secreted proteins of M. tuberculosis, which are potential biomarkers for diagnostic.
Results
In this work, the first human single chain fragment variable (scFv) antibodies specific for the tuberculosis biomarker 85 B were selected by phage display from naïve antibody gene libraries (HAL7/8). Produced as scFv-Fc in mammalian cells, these antibodies were further characterized and analysed for specificity and applicability in different tuberculosis antigen detection assays. Sandwich detection of recombinant 85 B was successful in enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), lateral flow immunoassay and immunoblot. Whereas detection of M. tuberculosis cell extracts and culture filtrates was only possible in direct ELISA and immunoblot assays. It was found that the conformation of 85 B, depending on sample treatment, influenced antigen detection.
Conclusions
Recombinant antibodies, selected by phage display, may be applicable for 85 B detection in various assays. These antibodies are candidates for the development of future point of care tuberculosis diagnostic kits. Using 85 B as a biomarker, the antigen conformation influenced by sample treatment is important.
doi:10.1186/1472-6750-14-68
PMCID: PMC4119940  PMID: 25033887
2.  High level transient production of recombinant antibodies and antibody fusion proteins in HEK293 cells 
BMC Biotechnology  2013;13:52.
Background
The demand of monospecific high affinity binding reagents, particularly monoclonal antibodies, has been steadily increasing over the last years. Enhanced throughput of antibody generation has been addressed by optimizing in vitro selection using phage display which moved the major bottleneck to the production and purification of recombinant antibodies in an end-user friendly format. Single chain (sc)Fv antibody fragments require additional tags for detection and are not as suitable as immunoglobulins (Ig)G in many immunoassays. In contrast, the bivalent scFv-Fc antibody format shares many properties with IgG and has a very high application compatibility.
Results
In this study transient expression of scFv-Fc antibodies in human embryonic kidney (HEK) 293 cells was optimized. Production levels of 10-20 mg/L scFv-Fc antibody were achieved in adherent HEK293T cells. Employment of HEK293-6E suspension cells expressing a truncated variant of the Epstein Barr virus (EBV) nuclear antigen (EBNA) 1 in combination with production under serum free conditions increased the volumetric yield up to 10-fold to more than 140 mg/L scFv-Fc antibody. After vector optimization and process optimization the yield of an scFv-Fc antibody and a cytotoxic antibody-RNase fusion protein further increased 3-4-fold to more than 450 mg/L. Finally, an entirely new mammalian expression vector was constructed for single step in frame cloning of scFv genes from antibody phage display libraries. Transient expression of more than 20 different scFv-Fc antibodies resulted in volumetric yields of up to 600 mg/L and 400 mg/L in average.
Conclusion
Transient production of recombinant scFv-Fc antibodies in HEK293-6E in combination with optimized vectors and fed batch shake flasks cultivation is efficient and robust, and integrates well into a high-throughput recombinant antibody generation pipeline.
doi:10.1186/1472-6750-13-52
PMCID: PMC3699382  PMID: 23802841
Recombinant Antibodies; Single Chain Fv; scFv-Fc; ImmunoRNase; Transient Mammalian Protein Production; Serum-free medium
3.  Identification of immunogenic proteins and generation of antibodies against Salmonella Typhimurium using phage display 
BMC Biotechnology  2012;12:29.
Background
Solely in Europoe, Salmonella Typhimurium causes more than 100,000 infections per year. Improved detection of livestock colonised with S. Typhimurium is necessary to prevent foodborne diseases. Currently, commercially available ELISA assays are based on a mixture of O-antigens (LPS) or total cell lysate of Salmonella and are hampered by cross-reaction. The identification of novel immunogenic proteins would be useful to develop ELISA based diagnostic assays with a higher specificity.
Results
A phage display library of the entire Salmonella Typhimurium genome was constructed and 47 immunogenic oligopeptides were identified using a pool of convalescent sera from pigs infected with Salmonella Typhimurium. The corresponding complete genes of seven of the identified oligopeptids were cloned. Five of them were produced in E. coli. The immunogenic character of these antigens was validated with sera from pigs infeced with S. Tyhimurium and control sera from non-infected animals. Finally, human antibody fragments (scFv) against these five antigens were selected using antibody phage display and characterised.
Conclusion
In this work, we identified novel immunogenic proteins of Salmonella Typhimurium and generated antibody fragments against these antigens completely based on phage display. Five immunogenic proteins were validated using a panel of positive and negative sera for prospective applications in diagnostics of Salmonela Typhimurium.
doi:10.1186/1472-6750-12-29
PMCID: PMC3423037  PMID: 22703709
4.  Isolation of a nanomolar scFv inhibiting the endopeptidase activity of botulinum toxin A, by single-round panning of an immune phage-displayed library of macaque origin 
BMC Biotechnology  2011;11:113.
Background
Botulinum neurotoxin A (BoNT/A), mainly represented by subtype A1, is the most toxic substance known. It causes naturally-occurring food poisoning, and is among the biological agents at the highest risk of being weaponized. Several antibodies neutralizing BoNT/A by targeting its heavy chain (BoNT/A-H) have been isolated in the past. For the first time however, an IgG (4LCA) recently isolated by hybridoma technology and targeting the BoNT/A light chain (BoNT/A-L), was shown to inhibit BoNT/A endopeptidase activity and protect in vivo against BoNT/A. In the present study, a phage-displayed library was constructed from a macaque (Macaca fascicularis) hyper-immunized with BoNTA/L in order to isolate scFvs inhibiting BoNT/A endopeptidase activity for clinical use.
Results
Diversity of the scFvs constituting the library was limited due to the frequent presence, within the genes intended to be part of the library, of restriction sites utilized for its construction. After screening with several rounds of increasing stringency, as is usual with phage technology, the library got overwhelmed by phagemids encoding incomplete scFvs. The screening was successfully re-performed with a single round of high stringency. In particular, one of the isolated scFvs, 2H8, bound BoNT/A1 with a 3.3 nM affinity and effectively inhibited BoNT/A1 endopeptidase activity. The sequence encoding 2H8 was 88% identical to human germline genes and its average G-score was -0.72, quantifying the high human-like quality of 2H8.
Conclusions
The presence of restrictions sites within many of the sequences that were to be part of the library did not prevent the isolation of an scFv, 2H8, by an adapted panning strategy. ScFv 2H8 inhibited toxin endopeptidase activity in vitro and possessed human-like quality required for clinical development. More generally, the construction and screening of phage-displayed libraries built from hyper-immunized non-human primates is an efficient solution to isolate antibody fragments with therapeutic potential.
doi:10.1186/1472-6750-11-113
PMCID: PMC3252318  PMID: 22111995
5.  Isolation of a human-like antibody fragment (scFv) that neutralizes ricin biological activity 
BMC Biotechnology  2009;9:60.
Background
Ricin is a lethal toxin that inhibits protein synthesis. It is easily extracted from a ubiquitously grown plant, Ricinus communis, and thus readily available for use as a bioweapon (BW). Anti-ricin antibodies provide the only known therapeutic against ricin intoxication.
Results
In this study, after immunizing a non-human primate (Macaca fascicularis) with the ricin chain A (RTA), a phage-displayed immune library was built (2 × 108 clones), that included the λ light chain fragment. The library was screened against ricin, and specific binders were sequenced and further analyzed. The best clone, 43RCA, was isolated using a new, stringent neutralization test. 43RCA had a high, picomolar affinity (41 pM) and neutralized ricin efficiently (IC50 = 23 ± 3 ng/ml, corresponding to a [scFv]/[ricin] molar ratio of 4). The neutralization capacity of 43RCA compared favourably with that of polyclonal anti-deglycosylated A chain (anti-dgRCA) IgGs, obtained from hyperimmune mouse serum, which were more efficient than any monoclonal at our disposal. The 43RCA sequence is very similar to that for human IgG germline genes, with 162 of 180 identical amino acids for the VH and VL (90% sequence identity).
Conclusion
Results of the characterization studies, and the high degree of identity with human germline genes, altogether make this anti-ricin scFv, or an IgG derived from it, a likely candidate for use in humans to minimize effects caused by ricin intoxication.
doi:10.1186/1472-6750-9-60
PMCID: PMC2716335  PMID: 19563687
6.  Development of human antibody fragments using antibody phage display for the detection and diagnosis of Venezuelan equine encephalitis virus (VEEV) 
BMC Biotechnology  2008;8:66.
Background
Venezuelan equine encephalitis virus (VEEV) belongs to the Alphavirus group. Several species of this family are also pathogenic to humans and are recognized as potential agents of biological warfare and terrorism. The objective of this work was the generation of recombinant antibodies for the detection of VEEV after a potential bioterrorism assault or an natural outbreak of VEEV.
Results
In this work, human anti-VEEV single chain Fragments variable (scFv) were isolated for the first time from a human naïve antibody gene library using optimized selection processes. In total eleven different scFvs were identified and their immunological specificity was assessed. The specific detection of the VEEV strains TC83, H12/93 and 230 by the selected antibody fragments was proved. Active as well as formalin inactivated virus particles were recognized by the selected antibody fragments which could be also used for Western blot analysis of VEEV proteins and immunohistochemistry of VEEV infected cells. The anti-VEEV scFv phage clones did not show any cross-reactivity with Alphavirus species of the Western equine encephalitis virus (WEEV) and Eastern equine encephalitis virus (EEEV) antigenic complex, nor did they react with Chikungunya virus (CHIKV), if they were used as detection reagent.
Conclusion
For the first time, this study describes the selection of antibodies against a human pathogenic virus from a human naïve scFv antibody gene library using complete, active virus particles as antigen. The broad and sensitive applicability of scFv-presenting phage for the immunological detection and diagnosis of Alphavirus species was demonstrated. The selected antibody fragments will improve the fast identification of VEEV in case of a biological warfare or terroristic attack or a natural outbreak.
doi:10.1186/1472-6750-8-66
PMCID: PMC2543005  PMID: 18764933
7.  Single chain Fab (scFab) fragment 
BMC Biotechnology  2007;7:14.
Background
The connection of the variable part of the heavy chain (VH) and and the variable part of the light chain (VL) by a peptide linker to form a consecutive polypeptide chain (single chain antibody, scFv) was a breakthrough for the functional production of antibody fragments in Escherichia coli. Being double the size of fragment variable (Fv) fragments and requiring assembly of two independent polypeptide chains, functional Fab fragments are usually produced with significantly lower yields in E. coli. An antibody design combining stability and assay compatibility of the fragment antigen binding (Fab) with high level bacterial expression of single chain Fv fragments would be desirable. The desired antibody fragment should be both suitable for expression as soluble antibody in E. coli and antibody phage display.
Results
Here, we demonstrate that the introduction of a polypeptide linker between the fragment difficult (Fd) and the light chain (LC), resulting in the formation of a single chain Fab fragment (scFab), can lead to improved production of functional molecules. We tested the impact of various linker designs and modifications of the constant regions on both phage display efficiency and the yield of soluble antibody fragments. A scFab variant without cysteins (scFabΔC) connecting the constant part 1 of the heavy chain (CH1) and the constant part of the light chain (CL) were best suited for phage display and production of soluble antibody fragments. Beside the expression system E. coli, the new antibody format was also expressed in Pichia pastoris. Monovalent and divalent fragments (DiFabodies) as well as multimers were characterised.
Conclusion
A new antibody design offers the generation of bivalent Fab derivates for antibody phage display and production of soluble antibody fragments. This antibody format is of particular value for high throughput proteome binder generation projects, due to the avidity effect and the possible use of common standard sera for detection.
doi:10.1186/1472-6750-7-14
PMCID: PMC1829395  PMID: 17346344

Results 1-7 (7)