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Sci Rep. 2019 Sep 6;9(1):12815. doi: 10.1038/s41598-019-49233-7.

Integrating SpyCatcher/SpyTag covalent fusion technology into phage display workflows for rapid antibody discovery.

Author information

1
Department of Oncology, Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research Lausanne, University of Lausanne, Lausanne, Switzerland.
2
Department of Oncology, Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research Lausanne, Lausanne University Hospital and University of Lausanne, Lausanne, Switzerland.
3
Department of Oncology, Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research Lausanne, Lausanne University Hospital and University of Lausanne, Lausanne, Switzerland. steven.dunn@chuv.ch.

Abstract

An early bottleneck in the rapid isolation of new antibody fragment binders using in vitro library approaches is the inertia encountered in acquiring and preparing soluble antigen fragments. In this report, we describe a simple, yet powerful strategy that exploits the properties of the SpyCatcher/SpyTag (SpyC/SpyT) covalent interaction to improve substantially the speed and efficiency in obtaining functional antibody clones of interest. We demonstrate that SpyC has broad utility as a protein-fusion tag partner in a eukaryotic expression/secretion context, retaining its functionality and permitting the direct, selective capture and immobilization of soluble antigen fusions using solid phase media coated with a synthetic modified SpyT peptide reagent. In addition, we show that the expressed SpyC-antigen format is highly compatible with downstream antibody phage display selection and screening procedures, requiring minimal post-expression handling with no sample modifications. To illustrate the potential of the approach, we have isolated several fully human germline scFvs that selectively recognize therapeutically relevant native cell surface tumor antigens in various in vitro cell-based assay contexts.

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