ABSTRACT: The murine monoclonal antibody BCF2 is able to neutralize the venom of the scorpion Centruroides noxius Hoffmann. A chimeric Fab of BCF2 (chFab-BCF2) comprising the variable regions of murine BCF2 and human constant regions was assembled. chFab-BCF2 was expressed as a soluble and functional protein in the periplasmic space of Escherichia coli. An expression yield of 1 mg/l was reached by combination of late-log-phase induction, rich culture medium, low expression temperature and addition of sucrose (0.3 M) to the culture medium. The addition of sucrose induced secretion of 60% of the protein into the medium. After expression for 23 h, a novel process was used to release the remaining periplasmic protein in situ consisting in the addition of lysozyme and sucrose up to 0.6 M (20%) directly to the culture medium. chFab-BCF2 was recovered by ammonium sulfate precipitation and purified in a single step by affinity chromatography using anti-human anti-F(ab')(2) IgG coupled to Sepharose-proteinG. Pure chFab-BCF2 maintained a similar nanomolar affinity as BCF2 to its cognate antigen, the Na(+)-channel-affecting toxin Cn2. Recombinant chFab-BCF2 was able to neutralize Cn2 in vivo even at a molar ratio of 1:1, as well as the whole venom of C. noxius. Thus, it is a promising candidate to be used as a specific and efficient recombinant antidote against scorpion stings.
Toxicon 02/2004; 43(1):43-51. · 2.51 Impact Factor