Switching the Bait

By | February 1, 2012

Screening for antibody biomarkers of disease to facilitate diagnosis has been fraught with failure, despite its logical approach: stick proteins onto a microscope slide and then pour over a patient's serum, full of disease-specific antibodies, and see what sticks. Compare the results to the serum of a healthy person, and you've got an antibody-protein pair that should signal disease. But of the proteins IDed employing that method, "none of them are even close" to clinical diagnosis, says Thomas Kodadek, at the Scripps Research Institute in Jupiter, Florida. Kodadek and his colleagues figured that the antibodies in the serum of an ill individual wouldn't be likely to bind to normal biological proteins. The immune system recognizes the foreign proteins of an invading pathogen or the markers of a dying cell precisely because they are different from the body's normal proteins. A cell involved in a disease like cancer or Alzheimer's is more likely to produce altered proteins, either because of genetic mutations or because the disease process changes the cytoplasmic environment, causing unexpected posttranslational changes.

But trying to guess what those chemical alterations might be is difficult. "We have absolutely no freakin' idea what those events are," says Kodadek. So instead of coating the slide with known proteins, Kodadek coated a glass slide with a fairly random assortment of unrelated synthetic small molecules that bind serum antibodies simply because of their chemical shapes, allowing for a broad and unbiased search. "The difference is what you're fishing with," he says.

The method "represents a major advance in the field," says Bill Robinson of the Stanford University School of Medicine. "It could enable the identification of the antigen targets for multiple autoimmune and other diseases."(Cell, 144:132-42, 2011)

 

STATS TALK
Comparing Methods: THE BAIT THE PLATFORM COST PER SLIDE CAPACITY OF BAIT
PROTEIN ARRAY Unaltered protein Glass slide with proteins $1,500 (commercially made slides) Several thousand per slide
KODADEK'S METHOD Synthetic molecule Glass slide with small molecules $10 (lab-made slides) Potentially millions (if beads are used in place of slides)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Add a Comment

Avatar of: You

You

Processing...
Processing...

Sign In with your LabX Media Group Passport to leave a comment

Not a member? Register Now!

LabX Media Group Passport Logo

Comments

Avatar of: Raman Parkesh

Raman Parkesh

Posts: 2

February 6, 2012

This is actually a very clever idea. You can screen a huge library of compounds, which can potentially bind to the antigen. I think if we can combine this approach with the initial virtual screening approach to identify potential small molecules
, any diseases can be targeted.

Raman Parkesh, PhD

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

February 6, 2012

This is actually a very clever idea. You can screen a huge library of compounds, which can potentially bind to the antigen. I think if we can combine this approach with the initial virtual screening approach to identify potential small molecules
, any diseases can be targeted.

Raman Parkesh, PhD

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

February 6, 2012

This is actually a very clever idea. You can screen a huge library of compounds, which can potentially bind to the antigen. I think if we can combine this approach with the initial virtual screening approach to identify potential small molecules
, any diseases can be targeted.

Raman Parkesh, PhD

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

February 7, 2012

Future pathological tests are going to be simpler and very cost effective, it seems.

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

February 7, 2012

Future pathological tests are going to be simpler and very cost effective, it seems.

Avatar of: Namby Ravi Reddiar

Namby Ravi Reddiar

Posts: 1457

February 7, 2012

Future pathological tests are going to be simpler and very cost effective, it seems.

Popular Now

  1. Monsanto Buys Rights to CRISPR
    The Nutshell Monsanto Buys Rights to CRISPR

    The US agribusiness secures a global, nonexclusive licensing agreement from the Broad Institute to use the gene-editing technology for agricultural applications.

  2. How Plants Evolved Different Ways to Make Caffeine
  3. ESP on Trial
    Foundations ESP on Trial

    In the 1930s, parapsychologist Joseph Banks Rhine aimed to use scientific methods to confirm the existence of extrasensory perception, but faced criticisms of dubious analyses and irreproducible results.

  4. Another DNA Vaccine for Zika Shows Promise
RayBiotech