PREPARATION AND CHARACTERIZATION OF COVALENTLY LINKED ENZYME-ANTIBODY CONJUGATES AND THEIR USE IN MEASURING MINUTE QUANTITIES OF PROTEIN ANTIGENS
The discovery and characterization of oncofetal proteins have led to significant advances in early cancer diagnosis and therapeutic monitoring of patients undergoing cancer chemotherapy. These tumor-associated antigens are presently measured by sensitive, specific immunoassay techniques based on the detection of minute amounts of labeled antigen or antibody incorporated into immune complexes, which must be isolated from free antigen and antibody. Since there are several disadvantages with using radioisotopes, the most common immunolabel, one major objective was to prepare covalently coupled enzyme-antibody conjugates and evaluate their use as a practical alternative to radiolabeled immune reagents. An improved technique for the production of enzyme-antibody conjugates was developed that involves oxidizing the carbohydrate moieties on a glycoprotein enzyme, then introducing antibody in the presence of polyethylene glycol (PEG). Covalent enzyme-antibody conjugates involving alkaline phosphatase and amyloglucosidase were produced and characterized. In order to increase the sensitivity of detecting the amyloglucosidase-antibody conjugate, an enzyme cycling assay was developed that measures glucose, the product of maltose cleavage by amyloglucosidase, in the picomole range. The increased sensitivity obtained by combined usage of the amyloglucosidase-antibody conjugate and enzyme cycling assay was then compared to that of conventional enzyme immunoassay (EIA). For immune complex isolation, polystyrene tubes and protein A-bearing Staphylococcus aureus were evaluated as solid phase matrices, upon which antibodies can be immobilized. A sandwich-type EIA, using antibody-coated S. aureus, was developed that measures human albumin (HSA) in the nanogram range. The assay, using an alkaline phosphatase-anti-HSA conjugate, was applied to the determination of HSA in human urine and evaluated extensively for its clinical applicability. Finally, in view of the clinical significance of alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) as an oncofetal antigen and the difficulty with its purification for use as an immunogen and assay standard, a chemical purification protocol was developed that resulted in a high yield of immunochemically pure AFP.
HARPER, JOHN ROBERT, "PREPARATION AND CHARACTERIZATION OF COVALENTLY LINKED ENZYME-ANTIBODY CONJUGATES AND THEIR USE IN MEASURING MINUTE QUANTITIES OF PROTEIN ANTIGENS" (1981). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI8118360.