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The Production of a Chimeric Monoclonal Antibody as a Therapeutic Agent Against Flaviviruses

Description

A chimeric, humanized monoclonal antibody that recognizes a highly conserved fusion loop found on flaviviruses was constructed with a geminiviral replicon and transiently expressed in Nicotiana benthamiana plants through Agrobacterium tumefaciens infiltration. Characterization and expression studies were then conducted to

A chimeric, humanized monoclonal antibody that recognizes a highly conserved fusion loop found on flaviviruses was constructed with a geminiviral replicon and transiently expressed in Nicotiana benthamiana plants through Agrobacterium tumefaciens infiltration. Characterization and expression studies were then conducted to confirm correct assembly of the antibody. Once the antibody was purified, an ELISA was conducted to validate that the antibody was able to bind to the flavivirus fusion loop.

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2018-05

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Towards Characterization of Serum Antibodies Derived from Genetic Immunization and that Recognize Membrane Proteins of Therapeutic Interest

Description

Structure is a critical component in drug development. This project supports antibody- facilitated structure determination for the following eleven membrane proteins: the human histamine and dopamine G protein-coupled receptors (HRH4 and DRD2) involved in a wide variety of pathologies such

Structure is a critical component in drug development. This project supports antibody- facilitated structure determination for the following eleven membrane proteins: the human histamine and dopamine G protein-coupled receptors (HRH4 and DRD2) involved in a wide variety of pathologies such as allergies, inflammation, asthma, pain along with Parkinson's and schizophrenia respectively, the human cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR), the human NaV1.8 voltage-gated sodium ion channel, the human TPC2 two-pore channel, the SARS virus proteins 3a, E and M, the MERS virus protein E and M, and the malarial chloroquine resistance transporter (PfCRT). Serum antibodies against these proteins were generated by genetic immunization, and both in vitro and in vivo expressed membrane proteins were created to characterize the serum antibodies. Plasmid clones were generated for genetic immunization, in vitro protein expression, and in vivo expression (HEK293T transfection). Serum antibodies were generated by genetic immunization of mice by gene gun. Genetic immunization promotes an immune response that allows for the generation of antibodies in the absence of purified protein. In vitro expression was accomplished through the novel technique: in vitro translation with hydrophobic magnetic beads (IVT-HMB). Transfections were performed using the HEK293T cell line to express the protein in vivo. The generated protein was then used in gel electrophoresis and silver stain and/or Western blot analyses to identify and visualize the proteins. These expressed proteins will allow for forthcoming characterization of the generated antibodies. The resulting antibodies will in turn enable structure determination of these important membrane proteins by co-crystallization.

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2017-05

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Characterization of Therapeutic Monoclonals by Targeted Epitope

Description

Monoclonal antibody therapy focuses on engineering immune cells to target specific peptide sequences indicative of disease. An impediment in the continued advancement of this market is the lack of an efficient, inexpensive means of characterization that can be broadly applied

Monoclonal antibody therapy focuses on engineering immune cells to target specific peptide sequences indicative of disease. An impediment in the continued advancement of this market is the lack of an efficient, inexpensive means of characterization that can be broadly applied to any antibody while still providing high-density data. Many characterization methods address an antibody's affinity for its cognate sequence but overlook other important aspects of binding behavior such as off-target binding interactions. The purpose of this study is to demonstrate how the binding intensity between an antibody and a library of random-sequence peptides, otherwise known as an immunosignature, can be evaluated to determine antibody specificity and polyreactivity. A total of 24 commercially available monoclonal antibodies were assayed on 125K and 330K peptide microarrays and analyzed using a motif clustering program to predict candidate epitopes within each antigen sequence. The results support the further development of immunosignaturing as an antibody characterization tool that is relevant to both therapeutic and non-therapeutic antibodies.

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2018-05

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Identification of Mycobacterium smegmatis and antibiotic resistance through the utilization of high titer mycobacteriophage concentrations and MALDI-TOF MS

Description

The diagnosis of bacterial infections based on phage multiplication has the potential for profound clinical implications, particularly for antibiotic-resistant strains and the slow-growing Mycobacterium tuberculosis. The possibility of hastening the diagnosis of antibiotic-resistant mycobacterial infections was accomplished via the study

The diagnosis of bacterial infections based on phage multiplication has the potential for profound clinical implications, particularly for antibiotic-resistant strains and the slow-growing Mycobacterium tuberculosis. The possibility of hastening the diagnosis of antibiotic-resistant mycobacterial infections was accomplished via the study of Mycobacterium smegmatis, a generally non-pathogenic, comparatively fast growing microorganism to M. tuberculosis. These proof-of-concept studies established that after transduction of M. smegmatis cells with bacteriophages, MALDI-TOF MS could be used to detect increased amounts of phage proteins. Recording the growth of M. smegmatis over an 8-hour period, starting with very low OD600 measurements, simulated bacterial loads in clinical settings. For the purposes of MALDI-TOF MS, the procedure for the most effective lethal exposure for M. smegmatis was determined to be a 1-hour incubation in a 95°C water bath. Successful precipitation of the lytic mycobacteriophages D29 and Giles was performed using chloroform and methanol and overlaid with 1-2 μL of α-cyano-4-hydoxycinnaminic acid, which allowed for more distinct and repeatable MALDI-TOF MS spectra. Phage D29 was found to produce an m/z peak at 18.477 kDa, which may have indicated a 2+-charged ion of the 34.8 kDa minor tail protein. The Giles proteins that were identified with MALDI-TOF MS have not been directly compared to protein values reported in the scientific literature. However, the MALDI-TOF MS spectra suggested that distinct peaks existed between M. smegmatis mc2155 and mycobacteriophages, indicating that successful infection with lytic phage and replication thereafter may have occurred. The distinct peaks between M. smegmatis and the phage can be used as indicators of the presence of mycobacteria. At this point, the limits of detection of each phage must be elucidated in order for MALDI-TOF MS spectra to be successfully implemented as a mechanism to rapidly detect antibiotic-resistant mycobacteria.

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2015-05

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Expression of the measles virus proteome by RAPID ELISA for serological assays

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Background: Measles virus (MV) infections are the main cause of vaccine-preventable death in children younger than 5 years. The World Health Organization (WHO) has estimated there are over 20 million cases of measles every year. Currently, diagnostic methods rely on

Background: Measles virus (MV) infections are the main cause of vaccine-preventable death in children younger than 5 years. The World Health Organization (WHO) has estimated there are over 20 million cases of measles every year. Currently, diagnostic methods rely on enzyme immunoassays (EIA) to detect IgM or IgG Abs in serum. These commercial assays measure reactivity against the immunodominant N antigen and can have a false negative rates of 20-30%. Centralized testing by clinical labs can delay rapid screening in an outbreak setting. This study aims to develop a rapid molecular diagnostic assay to detect IgG reactive to five individual MV proteins representing 85% of the measles proteome. Methods: MV genes were subcloned into pANT_cGST vector to generate C-terminal GST fusion proteins. Single MV cistrons were expressed using in vitro transcription/translation (IVTT) with human cell lysate. Expression of GST-tagged proteins was measured using a sandwich ELISA for GST expression using relative light units (RLUs) as readouts. Single MV antigens were used as bait to determine the IgG-dependent reactivity in 12 serum samples obtained from immunized animals with previously determined neutralization titer (NT) and the correlation between NT and ELISA reactivity was determined. Results: Protein expression of five measles genes of interest, M, N, F, H, and L, was measured. L exhibited the strongest protein expression with an average RLU value of 4.34 x 10^9. All proteins were expressed at least 50% greater than control (2.33 x 10^7 RLU). As expected, reactivity against the N was the highest, followed by reactivity against M, F, H and L. The best correlation with NT titer was reactivity against F (R^2 = 0.62). Conclusion: These data indicate that the expression of single MV genes M, N, F, H, and L are suitable antigens for serologic capture analysis of measles immunity.

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2015-05

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Use of cleavable fluorescent antibodies for highly multiplexed single cell in situ protein analysis

Description

The ability to profile proteins allows us to gain a deeper understanding of organization, regulation, and function of different biological systems. Many technologies are currently being used in order to accurately perform the protein profiling. Some of these technologies include

The ability to profile proteins allows us to gain a deeper understanding of organization, regulation, and function of different biological systems. Many technologies are currently being used in order to accurately perform the protein profiling. Some of these technologies include mass spectrometry, microarray based analysis, and fluorescence microscopy. Deeper analysis of these technologies have demonstrated limitations which have taken away from either the efficiency or the accuracy of the results. The objective of this project was to develop a technology in which highly multiplexed single cell in situ protein analysis can be completed in a comprehensive manner without the loss of the protein targets. This was accomplished in the span of 3 steps which is referred to as the immunofluorescence cycle. Antibodies with attached fluorophores with the help of novel azide-based cleavable linker are used to detect protein targets. Fluorescence imaging and data storage procedures are done on the targets and then the fluorophores are cleaved from the antibodies without the loss of the protein targets. Continuous cycles of the immunofluorescence procedure can help create a comprehensive and quantitative profile of the protein. The development of such a technique will not only help us understand biological systems such as solid tumor, brain tissues, and developing embryos. But it will also play a role in real-world applications such as signaling network analysis, molecular diagnosis and cellular targeted therapies.

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2016-12

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Development of Antibody-based Therapeutics from Plants to Treat Dental Disease

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Dental caries also known as tooth decay is a bacterial infection that causes demineralization and destruction of enamel dentin and cementum in the tooth. This bacterium, Streprococcus mutans, feeds on the carbohydrates in the mouth and produces lactic acids that

Dental caries also known as tooth decay is a bacterial infection that causes demineralization and destruction of enamel dentin and cementum in the tooth. This bacterium, Streprococcus mutans, feeds on the carbohydrates in the mouth and produces lactic acids that result in dental caries. This thesis discusses the use of plants to produce antibodies, Guy 13 and anti-GTFB to treat this dental disease. We believe these plant-derived antibodies will be effective to treat dental caries and economical to produce.

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2014-12

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Optimizing Dialysis Conditions for A4 Stability

Description

The research objective is to maintain the A4 nanobody stability during dialysis. Various dialysis buffers were tested and compared, including PBS with varying amounts of the detergent, Tween: low, high, none. Furthermore, PBS, Tris, and HEPES, were tested and compared.

The research objective is to maintain the A4 nanobody stability during dialysis. Various dialysis buffers were tested and compared, including PBS with varying amounts of the detergent, Tween: low, high, none. Furthermore, PBS, Tris, and HEPES, were tested and compared. PBS without Tween was the worst for preserving A4 stability. PBS was determined to be a better dialysis buffer than Tris or HEPES. To find the optimum buffer, other buffers will be tested and compared with PBS; methods such as gravity filtration and lyophilization will be considered as alternatives to dialysis.

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Date Created
2015-05

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Synbody Assisted MRSA Growth Inhibition

Description

Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infections are a major challenge to healthcare professionals. Treatment of MRSA is expensive, and otherwise avoidable deaths occur every year in the United States due to MRSA infections. Additionally, such infections lengthen patients’ stays in hospitals,

Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infections are a major challenge to healthcare professionals. Treatment of MRSA is expensive, and otherwise avoidable deaths occur every year in the United States due to MRSA infections. Additionally, such infections lengthen patients’ stays in hospitals, keeping them out of work and adversely affecting the economy. Beta lactam antibiotics used to be highly effective against S. aureus infections, but resistance mechanisms have rendered methicillin, oxacillin, and other beta lactam antibiotics ineffective against these infections. A promising avenue for MRSA treatment lies in the use of synthetic antibodies—molecules that bind with specificity to a given compound. Synbody 14 is an example of such a synbody, and has been designed with MRSA treatment in mind. Mouse model studies have even associated Syn14 treatment with reduced weight loss and morbidity in MRSA-infected mice. In this experiment, in vitro activity of Syn 14 and oxacillin was assessed. Early experiments measured Syn 14 and oxacillin’s effectiveness in inhibiting colony growth in growth media, mouse serum, and mouse blood. Syn14 and oxacillin had limited efficacy against USA300 strain MRSA, though interestingly it was noted that Syn14 outperformed oxacillin in mouse serum and whole mouse blood, indicating the benefits of its binding properties. A second experiment measured the impact that a mix of oxacillin and Syn 14 had on colony growth, as well as the effect of adding them simultaneously or one after the other. While use of either bactericidal alone did not show a major inhibitory effect on USA300 MRSA colony growth, their use in combination showed major decreases in colony growth. Moreover, it was found that unlike other combination therapies, Syn14 and oxacillin did not require simultaneous addition to MRSA cells to achieve inhibition of cell growth. They merely required that Syn14 be added first. This result suggests Syn14’s possible utility in therapeutic settings, as the time insensitivity of synergy removes a major hurdle to clinical use—the difficulty in ensuring that two drugs reach an affected area at the same time. Syn14 remains a promising antimicrobial agent, and further study should focus on its precise mechanism of action and suitability in clinical treatment of MRSA infections.

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2015-05

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Targeting Traumatic Brain Injury: Using Phage Display to Create a Specific Antibody for Neurocan Chondroitin Sulfate Proteoglycan Recognition

Description

This project aims to address the current protocol regarding the diagnosis and treatment of traumatic brain injury (TBI) in medical industries around the world. Although there are various methods used to qualitatively determine if TBI has occurred to a patient,

This project aims to address the current protocol regarding the diagnosis and treatment of traumatic brain injury (TBI) in medical industries around the world. Although there are various methods used to qualitatively determine if TBI has occurred to a patient, this study attempts to aid in the creation of a system for quantitative measurement of TBI and its relative magnitude. Through a method of artificial evolution/selection called phage display, an antibody that binds highly specifically to a post-TBI upregulated brain chondroitin sulfate proteoglycan called neurocan has been identified. As TG1 Escheria Coli bacteria were infected with KM13 helper phage and M13 filamentous phage in conjunction, monovalent display of antibody fragments (ScFv) was performed. The ScFv bind directly to the neurocan and from screening, phage that produced ScFv's with higher affinity and specificity to neurocan were separated and purified. Future research aims to improve the ScFv characteristics through increased screening toward neurocan. The identification of a highly specific antibody could lead to improved targeting of neurocan post-TBI in-vivo, aiding researchers in quantitatively defining TBI by visualizing its magnitude.

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2015-05