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Hybridoma. 2001 Jun;20(3):149-57.

Detection of superficial zone protein in human and animal body fluids by cross-species monoclonal antibodies specific to superficial zone protein.

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Department of Protein Sciences, GlaxoSmithKline, Research Triangle Park, NC 27709, USA.


In this report we describe the purification of human superficial zone protein (SZP), the generation of cross-species monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) and the detection of this protein in human and animal body fluids. Human SZPs, used as immunizing antigens, were purified either from culture media of human cartilage organ cultures or from human synovial fluids. The immunizing antigens were mixed with RIBI adjuvant in one of three forms: nonmodified SZP, superficial zone protein-keyhole limpet hemocyanin conjugate (SZP-KLH), or a mixture of superficial zone protein and hyaluronic acid (SZP-HA). A panel of MAbs including GW4.23, S6.79, S13.52, S13.233, and S17.109 were generated and characterized. Monoclonal antibody (MAb) S6.79, an IgG2b with K(D) 3.14 x 10(-9) M from SZP-KLH immunization, is of particular interest. It reacts strongly to a large molecular weight form of SZP in both enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and Western blotting. It stains the most superficial layer of articular cartilage in immunohistochemistry, whereas the middle and deep zones of cartilage are not stained. When MAb S6.79 was applied to Western blots of human body fluids, a strong 345-kDa band was detected in samples of synovial fluid and weaker bands of similar size were detected in samples of plasma and serum. MAb S6.79 also showed cross-species immunoreactivity with SZP in samples of synovial fluids harvested from bovine, dog, guinea pig, and rabbit, as demonstrated by Western blotting and antibody absorption experiments. This cross-species MAb will be a useful tool in human and animal model studies for monitoring SZP levels and tissue distribution. It may help define the roles of SZP in normal articular joints and may be of diagnostic or prognostic value for the measurement of SZP in pathological conditions such as osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and camptodactyly-arthropathy-coxa vara-pericarditis.

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