Epitope mapping by proteolysis of antigen-antibody complexes.
ABSTRACT The ability to accurately characterize an epitope on an antigen is essential to understand the pathogenesis of an infectious material, and for the design and development of drugs and vaccines. Emergence of a new contagious microbial or viral variant necessitates the need for robust identification and characterization of the antigenic determinant. Recent advances have made mass spectrometry (MS) a robust and sensitive analytical tool with high mass accuracy. The use of MS to characterize peptides and proteins has gained popularity in the research arena involving protein-protein interactions. Combining the modern mass spectrometric principles of protein-protein interaction studies with the classical use of limited proteolysis, a linear epitope on a peptide or a protein antigen can be accurately mapped in a short time, compared with other traditional techniques available for epitope mapping. Additionally, complete MS analyses can be achieved with very little sample consumption. Here we discuss the overall approach to characterize the detailed interaction between a linear antigen (either a peptide or a protein antigen) and its corresponding monoclonal antibody by using MS. The steps involved in epitope excision, epitope extraction, and indirect immunosorption are outlined thoroughly. Conditions required for MS analysis using either matrix assisted laser desorption ionization (MALDI) or electrospray ionization (ESI) sources are summarized, with special emphasis on the experimental protocols.
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ABSTRACT: We have recently developed a high-density photolithographic, peptide array technology with a theoretical upper limit of 2 million different peptides per array of 2 cm(2). Here, we have used this to perform complete and exhaustive analyses of linear B cell epitopes of a medium sized protein target using human serum albumin (HSA) as an example. All possible overlapping 15-mers from HSA were synthesized and probed with a commercially available polyclonal rabbit anti-HSA antibody preparation. To allow for identification of even the weakest epitopes and at the same time perform a detailed characterization of key residues involved in antibody binding, the array also included complete single substitution scans (i.e. including each of the 20 common amino acids) at each position of each 15-mer peptide. As specificity controls, all possible 15-mer peptides from bovine serum albumin (BSA) and from rabbit serum albumin (RSA) were included as well. The resulting layout contained more than 200.000 peptide fields and could be synthesized in a single array on a microscope slide. More than 20 linear epitope candidates were identified and characterized at high resolution i.e. identifying which amino acids in which positions were needed, or not needed, for antibody interaction. As expected, moderate cross-reaction with some peptides in BSA was identified whereas no cross-reaction was observed with peptides from RSA. We conclude that high-density peptide microarrays are a very powerful methodology to identify and characterize linear antibody epitopes, and should advance detailed description of individual specificities at the single antibody level as well as serologic analysis at the proteome-wide level.PLoS ONE 07/2013; 8(7):e68902. · 3.53 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) and transferrin were trapped by biotinylated anti-ACTH antibody and anti-transferrin antibody, respectively, bound to membrane-immobilized avidin. Polypeptides with the sequences SYSMEHFR, SYSMEHFRWGKPVGK and SYSMEHFRWGKPVGKK were bound to the biotinylated anti-ACTH antibody on the membrane-immobilized avidin after the trapped ACTH was digested with trypsin on the membrane and non-binding polypeptides were washed from the membrane. Further, the polypeptides with the sequence SYSMEHFRWGKPVGK and SYSMEHFRWGKPVGKK were trapped by anti-ACTH antibody bound to membrane-immobilized protein A. The antibody recognized the WGKPVGK region of the antigen, ACTH. Polypeptide with the sequence SMGGKEDLIWELLNQAQEHFGKDK was bound to the biotinylated anti-transferrin antibody on the membrane-immobilized avidin after the trapped transferrin was digested with trypsin on the membrane and non-binding polypeptides were washed from the membrane. Further, the polypeptide with the sequence SMGGKEDLIWELLNQAQEHFGKDK was trapped by anti-transferrin antibody bound to membrane-immobilized protein A. The antibody recognized the SMGGKEDLIWELLNQAQEHFGKDK region of the antigen, transferrin. These results thus indicate that the combined methods of membrane-immobilized avidin and protein A can be applied to examine the epitopes of antigens.Protein Expression and Purification 04/2012; 83(2):177-81. · 1.43 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Antibodies empower numerous important scientific, clinical, diagnostic, and industrial applications. Ideally, the epitope(s) targeted by an antibody should be identified and characterized thereby establishing antibody reactivity, highlighting possible cross-reactivities and perhaps even warning against unwanted (e.g. autoimmune) reactivities. Antibodies target proteins either as conformational or linear epitopes. The latter are typically probed with peptides, but the cost of peptide screening programs tends to prohibit comprehensive specificity analysis. To perform high-throughput, high-resolution mapping of linear antibody epitopes, we have used ultrahigh-density peptide microarrays generating several hundred thousand different peptides per array. Using exhaustive length and substitution analysis, we have successfully examined the specificity of a panel of polyclonal antibodies raised against linear epitopes of the human proteome and obtained very detailed descriptions of the involved specificities. The epitopes identified ranged from 4 to 12 amino acids in size. In general, the antibodies were of exquisite specificity frequently disallowing even single conservative substitutions. In several cases, multiple distinct epitopes could be identified for the same target protein thereby suggesting an efficient approach to the generation of paired antibodies. Two alternative epitope mapping approaches identified similar, although not necessarily identical, epitopes. These results show that ultrahigh-density peptide microarrays can be used for linear epitope mapping. With an upper theoretical limit of up to two million individual peptides per array, these peptide microarrays may even be used for a systematic validation of antibodies at the proteomic level.Molecular & Cellular Proteomics 09/2012; · 7.25 Impact Factor