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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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Date Created
2015-05

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Rapid point-of-care testing for measles immunity

Description

Measles is a contagious, vaccine-preventable disease that continues to be the leading

cause of death in children younger than the age of 5 years. While the introduction of the Measles, Mumps, and Rubella vaccine (MMR) has significantly decreased morbidity and mortality

Measles is a contagious, vaccine-preventable disease that continues to be the leading

cause of death in children younger than the age of 5 years. While the introduction of the Measles, Mumps, and Rubella vaccine (MMR) has significantly decreased morbidity and mortality rates worldwide, vaccine coverage is highly variable across global regions. Current diagnostic methods rely on enzyme immunoassays (EIA) to detect IgM or IgG Abs in serum. Commercially available Diamedix Immunosimplicity® Measles IgG test kit has been shown to have 91.1% sensitivity and 93.8% specificity, with a positive predictive value of 88.7% and a negative predictive value of 90.9% on the basis of a PRN titer of 120. There is an increasing need for rapid screening for measles specific immunity in outbreak settings. This study aims to develop a rapid molecular diagnostic assay to detect IgG reactive to three individual measles virus (MeV) proteins.

Measles virus (MeV) genes were subcloned into the pJFT7_nGST vector to generate N- terminal GST fusion proteins. Single MeV cistrons were expressed using in vitro transcription/translation (IVTT) with human cell lysate. Expression of GST-tagged proteins was measured with mouse anti-GST mAb and sheep anti-mouse IgG. Relative light units (RLUs) as luminescence was measured. Antibodies to MeV antigens were measured in 40 serum samples from healthy subjects.

Protein expression of three MeV genes of interest was measured in comparison with vector control and statistical significance was determined using the Student’s t-test (p<0.05). N expressed at the highest level with an average RLU value of 3.01 x 109 (p<0.001) and all proteins were expressed at least 50% greater than vector control (4.56 x 106 RLU). 36/40 serum samples had IgG to N (Ag:GST ratio>1.21), F (Ag:GST ratio>1.92), or H (Ag:GST ratio> 1.23).

These data indicate that the in vitro expression of MeV antigens, N, F, and H, were markedly improved by subcloning into pJFT7_nGST vector to generate N-terminal GST fusion proteins. The expression of single MeV genes N, F and H, are suitable antigens for serologic capture analysis of measles-specific antibodies. These preliminary data can be used to design a more intensive study to explore the possibilities of using these MeV antigens as a diagnostic marker.

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Date Created
2016