13 May 2016 Rapid discovery of peptide capture candidates with demonstrated specificity for structurally similar toxins
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Peptides have emerged as viable alternatives to antibodies for molecular-based sensing due to their similarity in recognition ability despite their relative structural simplicity. Various methods for peptide capture reagent discovery exist, including phage display, yeast display, and bacterial display. One of the primary advantages of peptide discovery by bacterial display technology is the speed to candidate peptide capture agent, due to both rapid growth of bacteria and direct utilization of the sorted cells displaying each individual peptide for the subsequent round of biopanning. We have previously isolated peptide affinity reagents towards protective antigen of Bacillus anthracis using a commercially available automated magnetic sorting platform with improved enrichment as compared to manual magnetic sorting. In this work, we focus on adapting our automated biopanning method to a more challenging sort, to demonstrate the specificity possible with peptide capture agents. This was achieved using non-toxic, recombinant variants of ricin and abrin, RiVax and abrax, respectively, which are structurally similar Type II ribosomal inactivating proteins with significant sequence homology. After only two rounds of biopanning, enrichment of peptide capture candidates binding abrax but not RiVax was achieved as demonstrated by Fluorescence Activated Cell Sorting (FACS) studies. Further sorting optimization included negative sorting against RiVax, proper selection of autoMACS programs for specific sorting rounds, and using freshly made buffer and freshly thawed protein target for each round of biopanning for continued enrichment over all four rounds. Most of the resulting candidates from biopanning for abrax binding peptides were able to bind abrax but not RiVax, demonstrating that short peptide sequences can be highly specific even at this early discovery stage.
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Deborah A. Sarkes, Deborah A. Sarkes, Margaret M. Hurley, Margaret M. Hurley, Matthew B. Coppock, Matthew B. Coppock, Mikella E. Farrell, Mikella E. Farrell, Paul M. Pellegrino, Paul M. Pellegrino, Dimitra N. Stratis-Cullum, Dimitra N. Stratis-Cullum, "Rapid discovery of peptide capture candidates with demonstrated specificity for structurally similar toxins", Proc. SPIE 9863, Smart Biomedical and Physiological Sensor Technology XIII, 986305 (13 May 2016); doi: 10.1117/12.2224799; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2224799

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