Oriented Surface Immobilization of Antibodies at the Conserved Nucleotide Binding Site for Enhanced Antigen Detection
The conserved nucleotide binding site (NBS), found on the Fab variable domain of all antibody isotypes, remains a not-so-widely known and unutilized site. Here, we describe a UV photo-cross-linking method (UV-NBS) that utilizes the NBS for oriented immobilization of antibodies onto surfaces, such that the antigen binding activity remains unaffected. Indole-3-butyric acid (IBA) has an affinity for the NBS with a Kd ranging from 1 to 8 ?M for different antibody isotypes and can be covalently photo-cross-linked to the antibody at the NBS upon exposure to UV light. Using the UV-NBS method, antibody was successfully immobilized on synthetic surfaces displaying IBA via UV photo-cross-linking at the NBS. An optimal UV exposure of 2 J/cm2 yielded significant antibody immobilization on the surface with maximal relative antibody activity per immobilized antibody without any detectable damage to antigen binding activity. Comparison of the UV-NBS method with two other commonly used methods, ε-NH3+ conjugation and physical adsorption, demonstrated that the UV-NBS method yields surfaces with significantly enhanced antigen detection efficiency, higher relative antibody activity, and improved antigen detection sensitivity. Taken together, the UV-NBS method provides a practical, site-specific surface immobilization method, with significant implications in the development of a large array of platforms with diverse sensor and diagnostic applications.