Comparison of glycosphingolipids and antibodies as receptor molecules for ricin detection.
ABSTRACT Glycosphingolipids (GSLs) have been shown to undergo strong interactions with a number of protein toxins, including potential bioterrorism agents such as ricin and botulinum neurotoxin. Characterization of this interaction in recent years has led to a number of studies where GSLs were used as the recognition molecules for biosensing applications. Here, we offer a comparison of quartz crystal microbalance (QCM) sensors for the detection of ricin using antibodies and the GSLs GM1 and asialoGM1, which have been shown to undergo strong interactions with ricin. The presence, orientation, and activity of the GSL and antibody films were confirmed using ellipsometry, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR), and QCM. It was found that the GSLs offered more sensitive detection limits when directly compared with antibodies. Both GSLs had lower detection limits at 5 microg/mL, approximately 5 times lower than were found for antibodies (25 microg/mL), and their linear detection range extended to the highest concentrations tested (100 microg/mL), almost an order of magnitude beyond the saturation point for the antibody sensors. Potential sites for nonspecific adsorption were blocked using serum albumin without sacrificing toxin specificity.
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ABSTRACT: Recognition of small diffusible molecules by large biomolecules is ubiquitous in biology. To investigate these interactions, it is important to be able to immobilize small ligands on substrates; however, preserving recognition by biomolecule-binding partners under these circumstances is challenging. We have developed methods to modify substrates with serotonin, a small-molecule neurotransmitter important in brain function and psychiatric disorders. To mimic soluble serotonin, we attached its amino acid precursor, 5-hydroxytryptophan, via the ancillary carboxyl group to oligo(ethylene glycol)-terminated alkanethiols self-assembled on gold. Anti-5-hydroxytryptophan antibodies recognize these substrates, demonstrating bioavailability. Interestingly, 5-hydroxytryptophan-functionalized surfaces capture membrane-associated serotonin receptors enantiospecifically. By contrast, surfaces functionalized with serotonin itself fail to bind serotonin receptors. We infer that recognition by biomolecules evolved to distinguish small-molecule ligands in solution requires tethering of the latter via ectopic moieties. Membrane proteins, which are notoriously difficult to isolate, or other binding partners can be captured for identification, mapping, expression, and other purposes using this generalizable approach.ACS Chemical Neuroscience 07/2010; 1(7):495-504. · 3.87 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Ricin is a highly toxic protein present in the seeds of Ricinus communis (castor), grown principally as a source of high quality industrial lubricant and as an ornamental. Because ricin has been used for intentional poisoning in the past and could be used to contaminate food, there is a need for analytical methodology to detect ricin in food matrices. A monoclonal antibody-based method was developed for detecting and quantifying ricin in ground beef, a complex, fatty matrix. The limit of detection was 0.5 ng/g for the electrochemiluminescence (ECL) method and 1.5 ng/g for enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). The detection of nanogram per gram quantities of ricin spiked into retail samples of ground beef provides approximately 10,000-fold greater sensitivity than required to detect a toxic dose of ricin (>1 mg) in a 100 g sample.Toxins 04/2011; 3(4):398-408. · 2.13 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: An amperometric immunosensor for the specific detection of Ricinus communis is reported. Screen printed electrodes (SPEs) were modified with gold nanoparticles (GNPs) loaded multiwalled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs)-chitosan (Ch) film. The ratio of MWCNT and GNP was optimised to get best electrochemically active electrode. Sandwich immunoassay format was used for the immunosensing of ricin. The revealing antibodies tagged with the enzyme alkaline phosphatase (ALP) converts the substrate 1-naphthyl phosphate into 1-naphthol that was determined with the amperometric technique. The amperometric current obtained was correlated with the concentration of ricin. The prepared GNP-MWCNT-Ch-SPE showed high stability due to the Ch film, short response time with good reproducibility and increased shelf life of the electrodes immobilised with antibodies. The electrochemical activity of the electrode improved because of optimization of composition of CNTs and gold nanoparticles. Under the optimal conditions, the modified electrode showed a wide linear response to the concentration of ricin in the range of 2.5-25 ng mL(-1) with a limit of detection of 2.1 ng mL(-1) and with a relative standard deviation of 5.1% and storage life of 32 days.The Analyst 07/2012; 137(17):4086-92. · 4.23 Impact Factor