We report on the ultrasensitive protein nanoprobe system that specifically captures disease marker (autoantibodies of Type I diabetes in this case) with attomolar sensitivity. The system relies on supramolecular protein nanoparticles that bind a specific antibody [65 kDa glutamate decarboxylase (GAD 65)-specific autoantibody, i.e., the early marker of Type I diabetes]. The ultrasensitive detection of early marker of Type I diabetes during the early phase of pancreatic β-cell destruction is important because individuals at high risk of developing Type I diabetes can be identified several years before the clinical onset of the ailment. The bacterial expression of chimera genes encoding N-[human ferritin heavy chain (hFTN-H)]::[specific antigenic epitope]-C produces supramolecular nanoparticles with uniform diameters (10-15 nm), owing to self-assembly activity of hFTN-H. Each nanoparticle, formed by intermolecular self-assembly between the chimera protein molecules, is subjected to carrying a large number (presumably, 24) of epitopes with a homogeneous and stable conformation per autoantibody binding, thereby allowing substantial enhancement of sensitivity. The sensitivity was finally boosted to 3 attomolar concentration of the autoantibodies, 4-9 orders of magnitude more sensitive than conventional immunoassays. Also, this ultrasensitive protein nanoprobe successfully detected natural autoantibodies in the sera from Type I diabetic patients. The attomolar sensitivity was successfully reproduced on the detection of other antibodies, i.e., monoclonal antibodies against hepatitis B surface antigen. With the two antibody markers above, the feasibility of simultaneous and multiplexing-mode detection was also demonstrated.
- Attomoloar sensitivity
- Human ferritin heavy chain
- Nanoprobe system
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences (miscellaneous)
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Cell Biology