Single-Domain Antibody Multimers for Detection of Botulinum Neurotoxin Serotypes C, D, and Their Mosaics in Endopep-MS

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Abstract

Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs) are highly toxic proteins that require high-affinity immunocapture reagents for use in endopeptidase-based assays. Here, 30 novel and 2 earlier published llama single-domain antibodies (VHHs) against the veterinary-relevant BoNT serotypes C and D were yeast-produced. These VHHs recognized 10 independent antigenic sites, and many cross-reacted with the BoNT/DC and CD mosaic variants. As VHHs are highly suitable for genetically linking to increase antigen-binding affinity, 52 VHH multimers were produced and their affinity for BoNT/C, D, DC, and CD was determined. A selection of 15 multimers with high affinity (KD < 0.1 nM) was further shown to be resilient to a high salt wash that is used for samples from complex matrices and bound native BoNTs from culture supernatants as shown by Endopep-MS. High-affinity multimers suitable for further development of a highly sensitive Endopep-MS assay include four multimers that bind both BoNT/D and CD with KD of 14–99 pM, one multimer for BoNT/DC (65 pM) that also binds BoNT/C (75 pM), and seven multimers for BoNT/C (<1–19 pM), six of which also bind BoNT/DC with lower affinity (93–508 pM). In addition to application in diagnostic tests, these VHHs could be used for the development of novel therapeutics for animals or humans.
Original languageEnglish
Article number573
JournalToxins
Volume15
Issue number9
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 17 Sept 2023

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