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J Immunol Methods. 2009 Mar 31;343(1):21-7. doi: 10.1016/j.jim.2009.01.001. Epub 2009 Jan 25.

New highly specific botulinum type C1 endopeptidase immunoassays utilising SNAP25 or Syntaxin substrates.

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  • 1Division of Bacteriology, National Institute for Biological Standards and Control, Hertfordshire, UK. rjones@nibsc.ac.uk

Abstract

Botulinum neurotoxins contain proteases that cleave specific intra-neural proteins essential for neurotransmitter release. Toxin types A, C1 and E intra-cellularly cleave SNAP25 and/or Syntaxin (type C1 only) resulting in a flaccid paralysis. Although highly sensitive, robust in vitro endopeptidase immunoassays have been developed for some serotypes, an endopeptidase immunoassay for type C1 has not previously been described. The current studies utilised solid phase synthesized SNAP25(137-206) peptide substrate, and a new specific antibody to the SNAP25(191-198) octapeptide epitope that becomes exposed following cleavage by type C1 toxin. The highly specific nature of the detecting antibody was illustrated by the failure of anti-SNAP25(191-198) to recognise the type A cleavage product which differs by just one amino acid residue. Conversely, anti-SNAP25(190-197), which recognises the type A cleavage product, fails to cross react with the type C1 toxin cleavage product. Utilising Syntaxin(232-266) peptide substrate, and a specific antibody to the cleavage product epitope, Syntaxin(254-261), it was also possible to develop an endopeptidase immunoassay. Assay sensitivities allowed the detection of less than 0.1 LD(50)/ml (25 pg/ml) of type C1 haemagglutinin-complexed toxin. The assay failed to detect toxin serotypes A, B, D, E, F or G and therefore also provides an alternative highly specific in vitro identity test. In the absence of trypsin inhibitors, the assay is also capable of detecting 2 pg/ml of trypsin activity, or trypsin like contaminants. These new immunoassays will therefore provide highly specific tools for monitoring botulinum toxin light chain endopeptidase activity and serotype identity.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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