Alternative promising approach for sensitive protein detection


Researchers at IGP have developed a new method to detect proteins with high specificity and sensitivity that could be use in future diagnostic analyses of patient samples.

One way to diagnose diseases and follow the disease course is to examine proteins present in blood or tissue samples. Such protein analyses are often done by immunoassays, where antibodies are used to recognise and bind the target proteins, after which the antibodies can be detected with different methods. However, the success of these immunoassays depends on the availability of suitable antibodies, or other protein binding molecules, that recognise the most clinically relevant proteins.

In the present study, the researchers have studied how molecules called nanobodies can be used as protein binding molecules in immunoassays, as an alternative to the commonly used antibodies. By modifying the nanobodies and using them in different combinations, they could be used to detect proteins with high specificity.

“We used an analysis technology called PEA (for Proximity Extension Assay), for sensitive detection of protein biomarkers, using nanobody as PEA probes. This way we could find a combination of modified nanobodies that could augment assay performance compared to when antibodies were used as protein binding molecules,” says Rasel Al-Amin, first author of the study.

Immunoassays with nanobodies that are detected with PEA is relatively simple assay and the researcher behind the study believe that is promising for future diagnostic analyses of sample with a wide range of protein concentrations.

The study is a collaboration with researchers at the Department of Chemistry BMC, Uppsala University, Capio Vårdcentral Väsby and Vrije Universiteit Brussel. It was recently published in the journal Analytical Chemistry.

More information:
Paper in Analytical Chemistry
Rasel Al-Amin’s research in Ulf Landegren’s group

Last modified: 2022-01-26