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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Development and utilization of camelid VHH antibodies from alpaca for 2,2',4,4'-tetrabrominated diphenyl ether detection.

  • Author(s): Bever, Candace RS
  • Majkova, Zuzana
  • Radhakrishnan, Rajeswaran
  • Suni, Ian
  • McCoy, Mark
  • Wang, Yanru
  • Dechant, Julie
  • Gee, Shirley
  • Hammock, Bruce D
  • et al.

Published Web Location Commons 'BY-NC-ND' version 4.0 license

An antibody-based analytical method for the detection of a chemical flame retardant using antibody fragments isolated from an alpaca has been developed. One specific chemical flame retardant congener, 2,2',4,4'-tetrabrominated diphenyl ether (BDE-47), is often the major poly-BDE (PBDE) congener present in human and environmental samples and that which is the most frequently detected. An alpaca was immunized with a surrogate of BDE-47 covalently attached to a carrier protein. The resulting mRNA coding for the variable domain of heavy-chain antibodies (VHH) were isolated, transcribed to cDNA, and cloned into a phagemid vector for phage display library construction. Selection of VHHs recognizing BDE-47 was achieved by panning under carefully modified conditions. The assay sensitivity for detecting BDE-47 was down to the part-per-billion (microgram per liter) level. Cross-reactivity analyses confirmed that this method was highly selective for BDE-47 and selected hydroxylated metabolites. When exposed to elevated temperatures, the camelid VHH antibodies retained more reactivity than a polyclonal antibody developed to the same target analyte. The use of this VHH antibody reagent immobilized onto a Au electrode for impedance biosensing demonstrates the increased versatility of VHH antibodies.

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