Säll A, Sjöholm K, Waldemarson S, Happonen L, Karlsson C, Persson H, Malmström J
J. Proteome Res. 14 (11) 4704-4713 [2015-11-06; online 2015-10-27]
Disease and death caused by bacterial infections are global health problems. Effective bacterial strategies are required to promote survival and proliferation within a human host, and it is important to explore how this adaption occurs. However, the detection and quantification of bacterial virulence factors in complex biological samples are technically demanding challenges. These can be addressed by combining targeted affinity enrichment of antibodies with the sensitivity of liquid chromatography-selected reaction monitoring mass spectrometry (LC-SRM MS). However, many virulence factors have evolved properties that make specific detection by conventional antibodies difficult. We here present an antibody format that is particularly well suited for detection and analysis of immunoglobulin G (IgG)-binding virulence factors. As proof of concept, we have generated single chain fragment variable (scFv) antibodies that specifically target the IgG-binding surface proteins M1 and H of Streptococcus pyogenes. The binding ability of the developed scFv is demonstrated against both recombinant soluble protein M1 and H as well as the intact surface proteins on a wild-type S. pyogenes strain. Additionally, the capacity of the developed scFv antibodies to enrich their target proteins from both simple and complex backgrounds, thereby allowing for detection and quantification with LC-SRM MS, was demonstrated. We have established a workflow that allows for affinity enrichment of bacterial virulence factors.