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Anal Chem. 2017 Oct 17;89(20):11091-11097. doi: 10.1021/acs.analchem.7b03190. Epub 2017 Oct 4.

Development of an Indirect Competitive Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay for Glycocholic Acid Based on Chicken Single-Chain Variable Fragment Antibodies.

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Department of Pharmaceutical Engineering, Faculty of Chemical Engineering and Light Industry, Guangdong University of Technology , Guangzhou 510006, People's Republic of China.
Department of Entomology and Nematology and UCD Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of California, Davis , Davis, California 95616, United States.


Glycocholic acid (GCA) is an important metabolite of bile acids, whose urine levels are expected to be a specific diagnostic biomarker for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). A high-throughput immunoassay for determination of GCA would be of significant advantage and useful for primary diagnosis, surveillance, and early detection of HCC. Single-chain variable fragment (scFv) antibodies have several desirable characteristics and are an attractive alternative to traditional antibodies for the immunoassay. Because chicken antibodies possess single heavy and light variable functional domains, they are an ideal framework for simplified generation of recombinant antibodies for GCA detection. However, chicken scFvs have rarely been used to detect GCA. In this study, a scFv library was generated from chickens immunized with a GCA hapten coupled to bovine serum albumin (BSA), and anti-GCA scFvs were isolated by a phage-displayed method. Compared to the homologous coating antigen, use of a heterologous coating antigen resulted in about an 85-fold improvement in sensitivity of the immunoassay. This assay, under optimized conditions, had a linear range of 0.02-0.18 μg/mL, with an IC50 of 0.06 μg/mL. The assay showed negligible cross-reactivity with various related bile acids, except for taurocholic acid. The detection of GCA from spiked human urine samples ranged from 86.7% to 123.3%. These results, combined with the advantages of scFv antibodies, indicated that a chicken scFv-based enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay is a suitable method for high-throughput screening of GCA in human urine.

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