Main content area

Restricted Proteolysis and LC-MS/MS To Evaluate the Orientation of Surface-Immobilized Antibodies

Shen, Min, Jiang, Di, De Silva, P. I. Thilini, Song, Boya, Rusling, James F.
Analytical chemistry 2019 v.91 no.7 pp. 4913-4919
antibodies, antibody binding sites, antigens, digestion, immunoassays, liquid chromatography, magnetism, nanoparticles, peptides, proteolysis, tandem mass spectrometry
The molecular orientation of antibodies immobilized on solid surfaces plays a significant role in the sensitivity of immunoassays and efficiency of protein isolation using antibody-decorated nanoparticles. Optimally, nearly all antibody binding sites should be available to bind. Here we report for the first time an LC-MS/MS approach to probe antibody orientation directly, utilizing sterically restricted proteolysis. Trypsin-decorated magnetic beads (MBs, 1.5 μm) were much larger than average antibody-free areas (55 × 55 nm) of oriented antibodies on MBs, restricting proteolysis to mainly Fab regions. Randomly attached antibodies on MB surfaces served as controls. The tryptic-hydrolyzed peptides were quantified using LC-MS/MS peptide analysis as markers for average positions of Fc and Fab of antibodies on the beads. Different patterns of digestion rates were found due to proteolysis of the oriented and nonoriented antibodies on MBs. For oriented antibodies, the peptides from outer Fab regions gave a much higher digestion rate than those from Fc regions, while for randomly immobilized antibodies digestion rates for Fab and Fc peptides were similar. This novel approach is a useful and convenient tool to characterize antibody orientation for immunoassays and other applications. The relative degree of orientation can be assessed using a metric Rₒ denoting amount of Fab marker peptides found divided by Fc + Fab marker peptides × 100%. Oriented antibodies on the MBs also provided more efficient antigen capture compared to randomly immobilized antibodies.