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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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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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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

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Construction and Characterization of Recombinant anti-PD-L1 Single Chain Antibodies

Description

Programmed cell death ligand-1 (PD-L1) is an overexpressed protein on many tumor cell types. PD-L1 is involved in normal immune regulation, playing an important role in self-tolerance and controlling autoimmunity. However, ligation of PD-L1 to PD-1 on activated T cells

Programmed cell death ligand-1 (PD-L1) is an overexpressed protein on many tumor cell types. PD-L1 is involved in normal immune regulation, playing an important role in self-tolerance and controlling autoimmunity. However, ligation of PD-L1 to PD-1 on activated T cells leads to tumor-mediated T cell suppression. Inhibiting the PD-1/PD-L1 pathway has emerged as an effective target for anti-tumor immunotherapies. Monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) targeting tumor-associated antigens such as PD-L1 have proven to be effective checkpoint blockades, improving therapeutic outcomes for cancer patients and receiving FDA approval as first line therapies for some cancers. A single chain variable fragment (scFv) is composed of the variable heavy and light chain regions of a mAb, connected by a flexible linker. We hypothesized that scFv proteins based on the published anti-PD-L1 monoclonal antibody sequences of atezolizumab and avelumab would bind to cell surface PD-L1. Four single chain variable fragments (scFvs) were constructed based on the sequences of these mAbs. PCR was used to assemble, construct, and amplify DNA fragments encoding the scFvs which were subsequently ligated into a eukaryotic expression vector. Mammalian cells were transfected with the scFv and scFv-IgG plasmids. The scFvs were tested for binding to PD-L1 on tumor cell lysates by western blot and to whole tumor cells by staining and flow cytometry analysis. DNA sequence analysis demonstrated that the scFv constructs were successfully amplified and cloned into the expression vectors and recombinant scFvs were produced. The binding capabilities of the scFvs constucts to PD-L1 protein were confirmed by western blot and flow cytometry analysis. This lead to the idea of constructing a CAR T cell engineered to target PD-L1, providing a possible adoptive T cell immunotherapy.

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2018-05

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Detection of antibodies to HPV16-associated oropharyngeal cancer using custom bead arrays

Description

Oropharyngeal cancer (OPC) is the world's sixth most common cancer and in many cases is associated with infection with human papillomavirus (HPV) type 16. Antibodies (Abs) to HPV16 viral antigens are potential diagnostic biomarkers of HPV-associated OPC (HPV OPC). A

Oropharyngeal cancer (OPC) is the world's sixth most common cancer and in many cases is associated with infection with human papillomavirus (HPV) type 16. Antibodies (Abs) to HPV16 viral antigens are potential diagnostic biomarkers of HPV-associated OPC (HPV OPC). A custom multiplexed bead array assay was used to detect Abs to HPV16 antigens E1, CE2, NE2, E4, E5, E6, E7, L1, and L2. Following extensive optimization of the assay, these genes were expressed as GST-fusion proteins and captured onto anti-GST magnetic beads. Serum was obtained from 256 OPC patients at the time of diagnosis and from 78 healthy controls. The median fluorescent intensity (MFI) was determined for each antigen and ratios of MFI to control GST-fusion protein were determined for each serum sample. Cutoff values were set as the mean + 3 SD of the MFIs of healthy controls and p-values were calculated using Wilcoxon unpaired and Fisher's exact test. Results of this experiment showed that HPV16 E1, CE2, NE2, E4, E6, and E7 Ab levels were elevated in OPC patients compared to controls (p<0.001), as were Ab levels to L1 (p = 0.013) and L2 (p = 0.023), per Fischer's exact test. Abs to CE2, NE2, E6, and E7 were identified as a potential biomarker panel for early detection of HPV OPC. For the 111 patients with known HPV+ tumors as measured by tumor PCR of E6 and/or E7, this assay had a sensitivity of 90% and specificity of 87% (AUC = 0.96). From these results, we conclude that custom bead array assays can be used to detect HPV16 Abs in patient sera, and we have identified a 4-Ab biomarker panel for the early detection of HPV OPC.

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2013-05