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J Immunol Methods. 1995 Jan 27;178(2):201-9.

Bifunctional and multimeric complexes of streptavidin fused to single chain antibodies (scFv).

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German Cancer Research Center, Recombinant Antibody Research Unit, Heidelberg, Germany.


Multivalent and multispecific antibodies with defined stoichiometry could provide valuable tools for biological and medical research and for the diagnosis and therapy of cancer. We have therefore fused single chain antibodies (scFv) with core-streptavidin. This chimeric protein, expressed by the vector pSTE-215 (plasmid for streptavidin-tagged expression), can form tetrameric complexes, binds antigen and contains the biotin binding site which may be used for further complex formation. An additional cysteine was inserted near the carboxy terminus to facilitate the construction of covalently linked bifunctional molecules. The scFv fusion protein could be purified by affinity chromatography using biotin analogues. We have also shown that the scFv fusion protein could be used for direct detection of its antigen in ELISA and Western blots when stained with biotinylated horseradish peroxidase.

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