The detection and quantification of biomolecules, and proteins in particular, are of great interest since these molecules are of fundamental importance to our well-being. Body fluids, as for instance human blood, are well suited for sampling of protein levels. However, the complexity of the fluids and the low abundance of many of the interesting biomolecules makes detection and quantification difficult. This has spurred an interest into the development of many protein detection methods, and of these, ligand assays have proven particularly suitable. In this thesis, different types of ligand assays for protein detection have been developed using affibody molecules as ligands.
In a first study, a homogeneous competitive detection assay was investigated, based on antiidiotypic affibody molecule pairs and fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) as reporting system. The individual members of two anti-idiotypic affibody pairs, each consisting of a target binding (idiotypic) and an anti-idiotypic affibody ligand, were labeled with a donor fluorophore and an acceptor fluorophore, respectively. Incubation with the two target proteins IgA and Taq DNA polymerase resulted in a concentration dependent decrease in the FRET signal, allowing for target protein detection and quantification. For Taq DNA polymerase, detection in 25% human plasma was also possible in the same concentration span as in buffer.
In a second study, a homogeneous, non-competitive detection system was described. Affibody molecules of 58 amino acids directed against IgA and IgG were produced with chemical synthesis, and two fluorophores capable of FRET were site-specifically introduced. Binding of target protein induced a concentration-dependent change in the relative emission of the two fluorophores, which formed the basis for the detection system.
In two studies, affibody molecules were evaluated and shown to function well as capture ligands on microarrays. Synthetic affibody molecules directed against Taq DNA polymerase and IgA were modified by the introduction of immobilization tags. Specific immobilization via a C-terminal cysteine or a biotin moiety, or random immobilization via amino groups, were studied in protein microarray experiments and SPR-based biosensor studies. The experiments showed that all immobilization chemistries resulted in functional capture molecules. A short spacer was also introduced, situated between the affibody and the cysteine and biotin moieties, which was shown to improve binding for all constructs. Multidomain affibody constructs of up to four N- to C-terminally linked domains were shown to increase the amount of bound target, compared to monomeric affibody ligands. Six dimeric affibody constructs directed against IgA, IgG, IgE, Taq DNA polymerase, TNF-α and insulin, respectively, showed low limits of detections for their targets and little or no cross-reactivity with the other target proteins. Dimeric affibody molecules directed against IgA and TNF-α were also shown to function in a sandwich format with antibodies for detection of targets in buffer and in human serum and plasma. Successful discrimination between normal and IgA-deficient sera showed that affibody molecules could be used for specific detection of protein in highly complex backgrounds on microarrays.
Stockholm: KTH , 2006. , 94 p.
Affibody molecules, biosensors, FRET, immobilisation, solid-phase synthesis, protein microarrays
2006-05-19, FR4, Albanova Universitetscentrum, Roslagstullsbacken 21, Stockholm, 13:00