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Mol Immunol. 1994 Oct;31(14):1047-58.

Recombinant single-chain Fv fragments carrying C-terminal cysteine residues: production of bivalent and biotinylated miniantibodies.

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Recombinant Antibody Research Group (FSP 4/0445), German Cancer Research Center, Heidelberg.


A murine antibody single-chain Fv (scFv) fragment carrying five C-terminal histidine residues preceded by a cysteine residue and a marker peptide was expressed in Escherichia coli. Its variable heavy (VH) and light (VL) domains are derived from the mouse monoclonal antibody mAb215, which is specific for the largest subunit of RNA polymerase II of Drosophila melanogaster. ScFv' monomers, covalently linked (scFv')2 and non-covalent dimers, as well as aggregated antibody fragments, were isolated from an E. coli cell paste by immobilized metal affinity chromatography in 6 M urea followed by a renaturation procedure that does not use any sulfhydryl agents. In a final step, the components were separated by size exclusion chromatography. All the recombinant antibody fractions demonstrated high antigen-binding activity and specificity as shown by ELISA and Western blot analysis. Affinity measurements carried out by competitive immunoassays showed that covalently linked (scFv')2 have binding constants quite close to those of the parental monoclonal antibodies and four-fold higher than scFv' monomers. ScFv derivatives, specifically biotinylated through the free sulfhydryl group, recognize the corresponding antigen in ELISA and Western blot analysis, thus demonstrating the possibility of using chemically modified scFv antibodies for immunodetection.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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