Detection of carcinoembryonic antigen using single-domain or full-size antibodies stained with quantum dot conjugates.
Compact single-domain antibodies (sdAbs) are nearly 13 times smaller than full-size monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) and have a number of advantages for biotechnological applications, such as small size, high specificity, solubility, stability, and great refolding capacity. Carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) is a tumor-associated glycoprotein expressed in a variety of cancers. Detection of CEA on the tumor cell surface may be carried out using anti-CEA antibodies and conventional fluorescent dyes. Semiconductor quantum dots (QDs) are brighter and more photostable than organic dyes; they provide the possibility for labeling of different recognition molecules with QDs of different colors but excitable with the same wavelength of excitation. In this study, the abilities for specific detection of CEA expressed by tumor cells with anti-CEA sdAbs biotinylated in vitro and in vivo, as well as with anti-CEA mAbs biotinylated in vitro, were compared using flow cytometry and the conjugates of streptavidin with QDs (SA-QDs). The results demonstrated that either in vitro or in vivo biotinylated anti-CEA sdAbs are more sensitive for cell staining compared to biotinylated anti-CEA mAbs. The data also show that simultaneous use of biotinylated sdAbs with highly fluorescent SA-QDs can considerably improve the sensitivity of detection of CEA on tumor cell surfaces.Read the article