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Use of cancer-specific yeast-secreted in vivo biotinylated recombinant antibodies for serum biomarker discovery.

18652693

J Transl Med. 2008 Jul 6 ().

Strategies to discover circulating protein markers of ovarian cancer are urgently needed. We developed a novel technology that permits us to isolate recombinant antibodies directed against the potential serum biomarkers, to facilitate the further development of affinity reagents necessary to construct diagnostic tests.

This study presents a novel discovery approach based on serum immunoprecipitation with cancer-specific in vivo biotinylated recombinant antibodies (biobodies) derived from differentially selected yeast-display scFv, and analysis of the eluted serum proteins by electrophoresis and/or mass spectrometry.

Using this strategy we identified catabolic fragments of complement factors, EMILIN2, Von Willebrand factor and phosphatidylethanolamine-binding protein 1 (PEBP1 or RKIP) in patient sera. To our knowledge, this is the first report of a soluble form of PEBP1 in human. Independent evidence for ovarian cancer-specific expression of PEBP1 in patient sera was found by ELISA assays and antibody arrays with anti-PEBP1 antibodies. PEBP1 was detected in 29 out of 30 ascites samples and discriminated ovarian cancer sera from controls (p = 0.02). Finally, we confirmed by western blots the presence of a 21-23 kDa fragment corresponding to the expected size of PEBP1 but we also showed additional bands of 38 kDa and 50-52 kDa in various tissues and cell lines.

We conclude that the novel strategy described here allows the identification of candidate biomarkers that can be variants of normally expressed proteins or that display cancer-specific post-translational modifications.

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