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Concept: Protein A/G


Optical biosensing techniques have become of key importance for label-free monitoring of biomolecular interactions in the current proteomics era. Together with an increasing emphasis on high-throughput applications in functional proteomics and drug discovery, there has been demand for facile and generally applicable methods for the immobilization of a wide range of receptor proteins. Here, we developed a polymer platform for microring resonator biosensors, which allowed the immobilization of receptor proteins on the surface of waveguide directly without any additional modification. A sol-gel process based on a mixture of three precursors was employed to prepare a liquid hybrid polysiloxane, which was photopatternable for the photocuring process and UV imprint. Waveguide films were patterned on silicon substrates and characterized by atomic force microscopy for roughness, and protein adsorption. The results showed that the spin-coating polymer surface was smooth (Rms = 0.658 nm), and exhibits a moderate hydrophobicity with the water contact angle of 97 degree. Such a hydrophobic extent could provide a necessary binding strength for stable immobilization of proteins on the material surface in various sensing conditions. Biological activity of the immobilized Staphylococcal protein A and its corresponding biosensing performance were demonstrated by its specific recognition of human Immunoglobulin G. This study showed the potential of preparing dense, homogeneous, highly specific, and highly stable biosensing surfaces by immobilizing receptor proteins on polymer-based optical devices through the direct physical adsorption method. We expect that such polymer waveguide could be of special interest in developing low-cost and robust optical biosensing platform for multidimensional arrays.

Concepts: Proteins, Protein, Receptor, Polymer, Sol-gel, Materials science, Biosensor, Protein A/G


Polystyrene is a common substrate material for protein adsorption in biosensors and bioassays. Here, we present a new method for multilayered, site-directed immobilization of antibody on polystyrene surface through the linkage of a genetically engineered ligand and the assembly of staphylococcal protein A (SPA) with immunoglobulin G (IgG). In this method, antibodies were stacked on polystyrene surface layer by layer in a potential three-dimensional way and exposed the analyte-binding sites well. Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) revealed that the new method showed a 32-fold higher detection sensitivity compared with the conventional one. Pull-down assay and Western blot analysis further confirmed that it is different from the ones of monolayer adsorption according to the comparison of adsorption capacity. The differentiated introduction of functional ligands, which is the key of this method, might offer a unique idea as a way to interfere with the dynamic behavior of a protein complex during the process of adsorption.

Concepts: Immune system, Antibody, Immunology, Western blot, ELISA, ELISPOT, HIV test, Protein A/G


Advances in molecular biology and cell culture technology have led to monoclonal antibody titers in excess of 10 g/L. Such an increase can pose concern to traditional antibody purification processes due to limitations in column hardware and binding capacity of Protein A resins. Recent development of high capacity cation exchangers can make cation exchange chromatography (CEX) a promising and economic alternative to Protein A capture. This work investigates the feasibility of using CEX for direct capture of monoclonal antibodies from high titer cell culture fluids. Two resin candidates were selected from seven newer generation cation exchangers for their higher binding capacity and selectivity. Two monoclonal antibodies with widely differing pI values were used to evaluate the capability of CEX as a platform capture step. Screening of loading pH and conductivity showed both resins to be capable of directly capturing both antibodies from undiluted cell culture fluid. At appropriate acidic pH range, product loading of over 65g/L resin was achieved for both antibodies. A systematic design of experiment (DOE) approach was used to optimize the elution conditions for the CEX step. Elution pH showed the most significant impact on clearance of host cell proteins (HCPs). Under optimal conditions, HCP reduction factors in the range of 9-44 were achieved on the CEX step based on the pI of the antibody. Apart from comparing CEX directly to Protein A as the capture method, material from either modality was also processed through the subsequent polishing steps to compare product quality at the drug substance level. Process performance and product quality was found to be acceptable using the non-affinity based process scheme. The results shown here present a cheaper and higher capacity generic capture method for high-titer antibody processes. Biotechnol. Bioeng. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Concepts: Immune system, Protein, Cell, Enzyme, Cell biology, Western blot, PH, Protein A/G


Passive immunotherapy using anti-HIV broadly neutralizing monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) has shown promise as an HIV treatment, reducing mother-to-child-transmission (MTCT) of simian/human immunodeficiency virus (SHIV) in non-human primates and decreasing viral rebound in patients who ceased receiving anti-viral drugs. In addition, a cocktail of potent mAbs may be useful as mucosal microbicides and provide an effective therapy for post-exposure prophylaxis. However, even highly neutralizing HIV mAbs used today may lose their effectiveness if resistance occurs, requiring the rapid production of new or engineered mAbs on an ongoing basis in order to counteract the viral resistance or the spread of a certain HIV-1 clade in a particular region or patient. Plant-based expression systems are fast, inexpensive and scalable and are becoming increasingly popular for the production of proteins and monoclonal antibodies. In the present study, Agrobacterium-mediated transient transfection of plants, utilizing two species of Nicotiana, have been tested to rapidly produce high levels of an HIV 89.6PΔ140env and several well-studied anti-HIV neutralizing monoclonal antibodies (b12, 2G12, 2F5, 4E10, m43, VRC01) or a single chain antibody construct (m9), for evaluation in cell-based viral inhibition assays. The protein-A purified plant-derived antibodies were intact, efficiently bound HIV envelope, and were equivalent to, or in one case better than, their counterparts produced in mammalian CHO or HEK-293 cells in both neutralization and antibody dependent viral inhibition assays. These data indicate that transient plant-based transient expression systems are very adaptable and could rapidly generate high levels of newly identified functional recombinant HIV neutralizing antibodies when required. In addition, they warrant detailed cost-benefit analysis of prolonged incubation in plants to further increase mAb production.

Concepts: HIV, Immune system, Antibody, Monoclonal antibodies, Immunology, Western blot, Immunohistochemistry, Protein A/G


Exposure of three native IgG1 monoclonal antibodies to 100mM acetate, pH 3.5 had no significant effect on their hydrodynamic size (11.5±0.5nm), while elution from protein A with the same buffer created a conformation of 5.5±1.0nm. Formation of the reduced-size conformation was preceded by the known destabilization of the second constant domain of the heavy chain (Cγ2) by contact with protein A, then compounded by exposure to low pH, creating extended flexibility in the hinge-Cγ2 region and allowing the Fab region to fold over the Fc region. The reduced-size conformation was necessary for complete elution. It persisted unchanged for at least 7 days under elution conditions. Physiological conditions restored native size, and it was maintained on re-exposure to 100mM acetate, pH 3.5. Protein A-mediated destabilization and subsequent restoration of native size did not create aggregates, but the reduced-size conformation was more susceptible to aggregation by secondary stress than native antibody. Protein A-mediated formation of the reduced-size conformation is probably universal during purification of human IgG1 antibodies, and may occur with other subclasses and IgG from other species, as well as Fc-fusion proteins.

Concepts: Immune system, Antibody, Protein, Fc receptor, Glycoproteins, Blood, Immunology, Protein A/G


The Fn14-specific monoclonal antibodies PDL192 and P4A8, which are under consideration in clinical trials, showed no agonistic activity with respect to IL8 production and cell death induction. However, oligomerization with protein G or binding to Fcγ-receptors converted both anti-Fn14 antibodies into potent agonists. TNF-like weak inducer of apoptosis (TWEAK), the ligand of Fn14, occurs naturally in two forms with partly different signaling capabilities, as a membrane-bound ligand and as a soluble trimeric molecule. While membrane TWEAK strongly triggers all Fn14-associated pathways, soluble TWEAK predominately triggers the alternative nuclear factor κB (NFκB) pathway and enhances TNF-induced cell death but has only a poor effect on the classical NFκB pathway and chemokine production. In so far, the oligomerized and FcγR-bound anti-Fn14 mAbs mimicked the activity of membrane TWEAK. Notably, both anti-Fn14 antibodies significantly triggered p100 processing, the hallmark of the alternative NFκB pathway, and in so far resembled soluble TWEAK. In contrast to the latter, however, the anti-Fn14s showed no effect on TNFR1-induced cell death and P4A8 even blocked the corresponding TWEAK response. Thus, we showed that Fn14 antibodies display an alternative NFκB pathway-specific agonistic activity but fail to phenocopy other activities of soluble TWEAK, whereas oligomerized or FcγR-bound Fn14 antibodies fully mimic the activity of membrane TWEAK. In view of the trivalent nature of the TWEAK-Fn14 interaction, this suggests that the alternative NFκB pathway is uniquely responsive already to Fn14 dimerization enabling antibodies to elicit an unnatural response pattern distinct from that of the naturally occurring Fn14 ligands.

Concepts: Immune system, Protein, Cell membrane, Apoptosis, Monoclonal antibodies, Fibroblast growth factor, Receptor antagonist, Protein A/G


Traditional SDS-PAGE method and its modern equivalent CE-SDS method are both widely applied to assess the purity of therapeutic monoclonal antibody (mAb) drug products. However, structural identification of low molecular weight (LMW) impurities using those methods has been challenging and largely based on empirical knowledges. In this paper, we present that hydrophilic interaction chromatography (HILIC) coupled with mass spectrometry analysis is a novel and orthogonal method to characterize such LMW impurities present within a purified mAb drug product sample. We show here that after removal of N-linked glycans, the HILIC method separates mAb-related LMW impurities with a size-based elution order. The subsequent mass measurement from a high-resolution accurate mass spectrometer provides direct and unambiguous identification of a variety of low-abundance LMW impurities within a single LC-MS analysis. Free light chain, half antibody, H2L species (antibody possessing a single light chain) and protein backbone-truncated species can all be confidently identified and elucidated in great detail, including the truncation sites and associated post-translational modifications. It is worth noting that this study provides the first example where the H2L species can be directly detected in a mAb drug product sample by intact mass analysis without prior enrichment.

Concepts: Immune system, Mass spectrometry, Monoclonal antibodies, Western blot, Monoclonal antibody therapy, Immunohistochemistry, Immunoglobulin light chain, Protein A/G


In recent years many monoclonal antibodies (mAb) have entered the biotherapeutics market, offering new treatments for chronic and life-threatening diseases. Protein A resin captures monoclonal antibody (mAb) effectively, but the binding capacity decays over repeated purification cycles. On an industrial scale, replacing fouled Protein A affinity chromatography resin accounts for a large proportion of the raw material cost. Cleaning-in-place (CIP) procedures were developed to extend Protein A resin lifespan, but chromatograms cannot reliably quantify any remaining contaminants over repeated cycles. To study resin fouling in situ, we coupled affinity chromatography and Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy for the first time, by embedding an attenuated total reflection (ATR) sensor inside a micro-scale column while measuring the UV 280 nm and conductivity. Our approach quantified the in-column protein concentration in the resin bed and determined protein conformation. Our results show that Protein A ligand leached during CIP. We also found that host cell proteins bound to the Protein A resin even more strongly than mAbs and that typical CIP conditions do not remove all fouling contaminants. The insights derived from in-column ATR-FTIR spectroscopic monitoring could contribute to mAb purification quality assurance as well as guide the development of more effective CIP conditions to optimise resin lifespan.

Concepts: Immune system, Protein, Spectroscopy, Monoclonal antibodies, Western blot, Monoclonal antibody therapy, Immunohistochemistry, Protein A/G


Abstract Linking the heavy chain (HC) and light chain (LC) genes required for monoclonal antibodies (mAb) production on a single cassette using 2A peptides allows control of LC and HC ratio and reduces non-expressing cells. Four 2A peptides derived from the foot-and-mouth disease virus (F2A), equine rhinitis A virus (E2A), porcine teschovirus-1 (P2A) and Thosea asigna virus (T2A), respectively, were compared for expression of three biosimilar IgG1 mAbs in Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cell lines. HC and LC were linked by different 2A peptides both in the absence and presence of GSG linkers. Insertion of a furin recognition site upstream of 2A allowed removal of 2A residues that would otherwise be attached to the HC. Different 2A peptides exhibited different cleavage efficiencies that correlated to the mAb expression level. The relative cleavage efficiency of each 2A peptide remains similar for expression of different IgG1 mAbs in different CHO cells. While complete cleavage was not observed for any of the 2A peptides, GSG linkers did enhance the cleavage efficiency and thus the mAb expression level. T2A with the GSG linker (GT2A) exhibited the highest cleavage efficiency and mAb expression level. Stably amplified CHO DG44 pools generated using GT2A had titers 357, 416 and 600 mg/L for the three mAbs in shake flask batch cultures. Incomplete cleavage likely resulted in incorrectly processed mAb species and aggregates, which were removed with a chromatin-directed clarification method and protein A purification. The vector and methods presented provide an easy process beneficial for both mAb development and manufacturing.

Concepts: Immune system, Protein, Gene, Monoclonal antibodies, Monoclonal antibody therapy, Protein A/G


The authors describe an electrochemical immunoassay for ultrasensitive direct determination of the carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA). A nanocomposite consisting of octahedral Cu2O nanocrystals covered with gold nanoparticles was utilized to modify a glassy carbon electrode which gives a strongly enhanced chronoamperometric signal for H2O2 which is used as an electrochemical probe. The morphology and elemental composition of the the nanocomposite was studied by field emission scanning electron microscopy and energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy. In addition, staphylococcal protein A was placed on the electrode for efficient capture of antibody to further enhance the sensitivity of the assay. Under optimal conditions and at a typical working voltage of -0.4 V (vs. Ag/AgCl), the response covers the 2 pg·mL-1 to 20 ng·mL-1 CEA concentration range with a 200 fg·mL-1 lower detection limit. The method was successfully applied to the determination of CEA in (spiked) human serum. Graphical abstract Schematic of the fabrication of an electrochemical immunosensor for ultrasensitive detection the carcinoembryonic antigen. The sensor is based on the use of a glassy carbon electrode modified with an octahedral Cu2O-gold nanocomposite and staphylococcal protein A for signal amplification.

Concepts: Proteins, Protein, Nanomaterials, Gold, Scanning electron microscope, Energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy, Staphylococcaceae, Protein A/G