An automated and multiplexed method for high throughput peptide immunoaffinity enrichment and multiple reaction monitoring mass spectrometry-based quantification of protein biomarkers.
ABSTRACT: There is an urgent need for quantitative assays in verifying and validating the large numbers of protein biomarker candidates produced in modern "-omics" experiments. Stable isotope standards with capture by anti-peptide antibodies (SISCAPA) has shown tremendous potential to meet this need by combining peptide immunoaffinity enrichment with quantitative mass spectrometry. In this study, we describe three significant advances to the SISCAPA technique. First, we develop a method for an automated magnetic bead-based platform capable of high throughput processing. Second, we implement the automated method in a multiplexed SISCAPA assay (nine targets in one assay) and assess the performance characteristics of the multiplexed assay. Using the automated, multiplexed platform, we demonstrate detection limits in the physiologically relevant ng/ml range (from 10 microl of plasma) with sufficient precision (median coefficient of variation, 12.6%) for quantifying biomarkers. Third, we demonstrate that enrichment of peptides from larger volumes of plasma (1 ml) can extend the limits of detection to the low pg/ml range of protein concentration. The method is generally applicable to any protein or biological specimen of interest and holds great promise for analyzing large numbers of biomarker candidates.
Project description:Oral cancer is one of the most common cancers worldwide, and there are currently no biomarkers approved for aiding its management. Although many potential oral cancer biomarkers have been discovered, very few have been verified in body fluid specimens in parallel to evaluate their clinical utility. The lack of appropriate multiplexed assays for chosen targets represents one of the bottlenecks to achieving this goal. In the present study, we develop a peptide immunoaffinity enrichment-coupled multiple reaction monitoring-mass spectrometry (SISCAPA-MRM) assay for verifying multiple reported oral cancer biomarkers in saliva. We successfully produced 363 clones of mouse anti-peptide monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) against 36 of 49 selected targets, and characterized useful mAbs against 24 targets in terms of their binding affinity for peptide antigens and immuno-capture ability. Comparative analyses revealed that an equilibrium dissociation constant (<i>K<sub>D</sub></i> ) cut-off value < 2.82 × 10<sup>-9</sup> m could identify most clones with an immuno-capture recovery rate >5%. Using these mAbs, we assembled a 24-plex SISCAPA-MRM assay and optimized assay conditions in a 25-?g saliva matrix background. This multiplexed assay showed reasonable precision (median coefficient of variation, 7.16 to 32.09%), with lower limits of quantitation (LLOQ) of <10, 10-50, and >50 ng/ml for 14, 7 and 3 targets, respectively. When applied to a model saliva sample pooled from oral cancer patients, this assay could detect 19 targets at higher salivary levels than their LLOQs. Finally, we demonstrated the utility of this assay for quantification of multiple targets in individual saliva samples (20 healthy donors and 21 oral cancer patients), showing that levels of six targets were significantly altered in cancer compared with the control group. We propose that this assay could be used in future studies to compare the clinical utility of multiple oral cancer biomarker candidates in a large cohort of saliva samples.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Protein biomarker candidates from discovery proteomics must be quantitatively verified in patient samples before they can progress to clinical validation. Here we demonstrate that peptide immunoaffinity enrichment coupled with stable isotope dilution mass spectrometry (SISCAPA-MRM) can be used to configure assays with performance suitable for candidate biomarker verification. As proof of principle, we configured SISCAPA assays for troponin I (cTnI), an established biomarker of cardiac injury, and interleukin 33 (IL-33), an emerging immunological and cardiovascular marker for which robust immunoassays are currently not available. METHODS:We configured individual and multiplexed assays in which peptides were enriched from digested human plasma using antipeptide antibodies. Assay performance was established using response curves for peptides and proteins spiked into normal plasma. We quantified proteins using labeled peptides as internal standards, and we measured levels of cTnI in patients who underwent a planned myocardial infarction for hypertrophic obstructive cardiomyopathy. RESULTS:Measurement of cTnI and IL-33 proteins from trypsin-digested plasma was linear from 1.5 to 5000 microg/L, with imprecision <13% for both proteins, processed individually or multiplexed. Results correlated well (R = 0.89) with a commercial immunoassay. CONCLUSIONS:We used an established biomarker of cardiac injury and an emerging biomarker to demonstrate how SISCAPA can detect and quantify changes in concentration of proteins present at 1-10 microg/L in plasma. Our results demonstrate that these assays can be multiplexed and retain the necessary precision, reproducibility, and sensitivity to be applied to new and uncharacterized candidate biomarkers for verification of low-abundance proteins in blood.
Project description:Stable Isotope Standards and Capture by Anti-Peptide Antibodies (SISCAPA) utilizes antibodies to enrich peptides from complex matrices for quantitation by stable isotope dilution mass spectrometry. SISCAPA improves sensitivity and limits the sample handling required for plasma-based analysis. Thus far, SISCAPA assays have been performed using polyclonal antibodies, yet monoclonal antibodies are an attractive alternative since they provide exquisite specificity, a renewable resource, and the potential for isolation of clones with very high affinities (10(-9) M or better). The selection of a good monoclonal antibody out of hundreds-to-thousands of clones presents a challenge, since the screening assay should ideally be in the format of the final SISCAPA assay, but performing the assays manually is labor- and time-intensive. In this manuscript, we demonstrate that monoclonal antibodies can be used in SISCAPA assays, and we describe an automated high-throughput SISCAPA method that makes screening of large numbers of hybridomas feasible while conserving time and resources.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Immunoassays for 1?,25-dihydroxyvitamin D [1?,25(OH)(2)D] lack analytical specificity. We characterized the cross-reactivity of an anti-1?,25(OH)(2)D antibody with purified vitamin D metabolites and used these data to map the chemical features of 1?,25(OH)(2)D that are important for antibody binding. Additionally, we hypothesized that when combined with isotope-dilution liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS), antibody cross-reactivity could be used to semiselectively enrich for structurally similar metabolites of vitamin D in a multiplexed assay. METHODS:Sample preparation consisted of immunoaffinity enrichment with a solid-phase anti-1?,25(OH)(2)D antibody and derivatization. Analytes were quantified with LC-MS/MS. Supplementation and recovery studies were performed for 11 vitamin D metabolites. We developed a method for simultaneously quantifying 25(OH)D(2), 25(OH)D(3), 24,25(OH)(2)D(3), 1?,25(OH)(2)D(2), and 1?,25(OH)(2)D(3) that included deuterated internal standards for each analyte. RESULTS:The important chemical features of vitamin D metabolites for binding to the antibody were (a) native orientation of the hydroxyl group on carbon C3 in the A ring, (b) the lack of substitution at carbon C4 in the A ring, and (c) the overall polarity of the vitamin D metabolite. The multiplexed method had lower limits of quantification (20% CV) of 0.2 ng/mL, 1.0 ng/mL, 0.06 ng/mL, 3.4 pg/mL, and 2.8 pg/mL for 25(OH)D(2), 25(OH)D(3), 24,25(OH)(2)D(3), 1?,25(OH)(2)D(2), and 1?,25(OH)(2)D(3), respectively. Method comparisons to 3 other LC-MS/MS methods yielded an r(2) value >0.9, an intercept less than the lower limit of quantification, and a slope statistically indistinguishable from 1.0. CONCLUSIONS:LC-MS/MS can be used to characterize antibody cross-reactivity, a conclusion supported by our multiplexed assay for 5 vitamin D metabolites with immunoenrichment in a targeted metabolomic assay.
Project description:Immunoaffinity enrichment of proteotypic peptides, coupled with selected reaction monitoring, enables indirect protein quantification. However the lack of suitable antibodies limits its widespread application. We developed a method in which multi-specific antibodies are used to enrich groups of peptides, thus facilitating multiplexed quantitative protein assays. We tested this strategy in a pharmacokinetic experiment by targeting a group of homologous drug transforming proteins in human hepatocytes. Our results indicate the generic applicability of this method to any biological system.
Project description:Verification of candidate biomarkers requires specific assays to selectively detect and quantify target proteins in accessible biofluids. The primary objective of verification is to screen potential biomarkers to ensure that only the highest quality candidates from the discovery phase are taken forward into preclinical validation. Because antibody reagents for a clinical grade immunoassay often exist for a small number of candidates, alternative methodologies are required to credential new and unproven candidates in a statistically viable number of serum or plasma samples. Using multiple reaction monitoring coupled with stable isotope dilution MS, we developed quantitative, multiplexed assays in plasma for six proteins of clinical relevance to cardiac injury. The process described does not require antibodies for immunoaffinity enrichment of either proteins or peptides. Limits of detection and quantitation for each signature peptide used as surrogates for the target proteins were determined by the method of standard addition using synthetic peptides and plasma from a healthy donor. Limits of quantitation ranged from 2 to 15 ng/ml for most of the target proteins. Quantitative measurements were obtained for one to two signature peptides derived from each target protein, including low abundance protein markers of cardiac injury in the nanogram/milliliter range such as the cardiac troponins. Intra- and interassay coefficients of variation were predominantly <10 and 25%, respectively. The configured multiplex assay was then used to measure levels of these proteins across three time points in six patients undergoing alcohol septal ablation for hypertrophic obstructive cardiomyopathy. These results are the first demonstration of a multiplexed, MS-based assay for detection and quantification of changes in concentration of proteins associated with cardiac injury in the low nanogram/milliliter range. Our results also demonstrate that these assays retain the necessary precision, reproducibility, and sensitivity to be applied to novel and uncharacterized candidate biomarkers for verification of proteins in blood.
Project description:BACKGROUND:For a more complete understanding of pharmacodynamic, metabolic, and pathophysiologic effects, protein kinetics, such as production rate and fractional catabolic rate, can offer substantially more information than protein concentration alone. Kinetic experiments with stable isotope tracers typically require laborious sample preparation and are most often used for studying abundant proteins. Here we describe a practical methodology for measuring isotope enrichment into low-abundance proteins that uses an automated procedure and immunoaffinity enrichment (IA) with LC-MS. Low-abundance plasma proteins cholesteryl ester transfer protein (CETP) and proprotein convertase subtilisin/kexin type 9 (PCSK9) were studied as examples. METHODS:Human participants (n = 39) were infused with [(2)H(3)]leucine, and blood samples were collected at multiple time points. Sample preparation and analysis were automated and multiplexed to increase throughput. Proteins were concentrated from plasma by use of IA and digested with trypsin to yield proteotypic peptides that were analyzed by microflow chromatography-mass spectrometry to measure isotope enrichment. RESULTS:The IA procedure was optimized to provide the greatest signal intensity. Use of a gel-free method increased throughput while increasing the signal. The intra- and interassay CVs were <15% at all isotope enrichment levels studied. More than 1400 samples were analyzed in <3 weeks without the need for instrument stoppages or user interventions. CONCLUSIONS:The use of automated gel-free methods to multiplex the measurement of isotope enrichment was applied to the low-abundance proteins CETP and PCSK9.
Project description:There is a great need for targeted protein assays with the capacity of sensitive measurements in complex samples such as plasma or serum, not the least for clinical purposes. Proteomics keeps generating hundreds of biomarker candidates that need to be transferred towards true clinical application through targeted verification studies and towards clinically applicable analysis formats. The immunoaffinity assay AFFIRM (AFFInity sRM) combines the sensitivity of recombinant single chain antibodies (scFv) for targeted protein enrichment with a specific mass spectrometry readout through selected reaction monitoring (SRM) in an automated workflow. Here we demonstrate a 100 times improved detection capacity of the assay down to pg/ml range through the use of oriented antibody immobilization to magnetic beads. This was achieved using biotin-tagged scFv coupled to streptavidin coated magnetic beads, or utilizing the FLAG tag for coupling to anti-FLAG antibody coated magnetic beads. An improved multiplexing capacity with an 11-plex setup was also demonstrated compared to a previous 3-plex setup, which is of great importance for the analysis of panels of biomarker targets.
Project description:A SISCAPA (stable isotope standards and capture by anti-peptide antibodies) method for specific antibody-based capture of individual tryptic peptides from a digest of whole human plasma was developed using a simplified magnetic bead protocol and a novel rotary magnetic bead trap device. Following off-line equilibrium binding of peptides by antibodies and subsequent capture of the antibodies on magnetic beads, the bead trap permitted washing of the beads and elution of bound peptides inside a 150-microm-inner diameter capillary that forms part of a nanoflow LC-MS/MS system. The bead trap sweeps beads against the direction of liquid flow using a continuous succession of moving high magnetic field-gradient trap regions while mixing the beads with the flowing liquid. This approach prevents loss of low abundance captured peptides and allows automated processing of a series of SISCAPA reactions. Selected tryptic peptides of alpha(1)-antichymotrypsin and lipopolysaccharide-binding protein were enriched relative to a high abundance serum albumin peptide by 1,800 and 18,000-fold, respectively, as measured by multiple reaction monitoring. A large majority of the peptides that are bound nonspecifically in SISCAPA reactions were shown to bind to components other than the antibody (e.g. the magnetic beads), suggesting that substantial improvement in enrichment could be achieved by development of improved inert bead surfaces.
Project description:Peptide immunoaffinity enrichment coupled with targeted mass spectrometry is a quantitative approach for the robust and reproducible quantification of peptide analytes. The approach is capable of multiplexed quantification of peptides, including posttranslational modifications such as phosphorylation. Anti-peptide antibodies are used to enrich analytes and heavy stable isotope-labeled standards. The enriched peptides are directly measured by multiple reaction monitoring (MRM), a well-characterized quantitative mass spectrometry-based method. Quantification is performed by measuring the analyte (light) peptide response relative to the heavy standard, which is spiked at a known concentration. Here, we describe the methodology for multiplexed measurement of phosphorylated peptides on the ATM kinase and their nonmodified peptide analogs in cellular lysates. The method provides quantitative measurements of phospho-signaling and can be extended to a number of other phosphopeptides and sample types.