Solid-phase proximity ligation assays for individual or parallel protein analyses with readout via real-time PCR or sequencing.
2013; 8 (6): 1234-1248
Role of Individual MARK Isoforms in Phosphorylation of Tau at Ser(262) in Alzheimer's Disease.
Solid-phase proximity ligation assays share properties with the classical sandwich immunoassays for protein detection. The proteins captured via antibodies on solid supports are, however, detected not by single antibodies with detectable functions, but by pairs of antibodies with attached DNA strands. Upon recognition by these sets of three antibodies, pairs of DNA strands brought in proximity are joined by ligation. The ligated reporter DNA strands are then detected via methods such as real-time PCR or next-generation sequencing (NGS). We describe how to construct assays that can offer improved detection specificity by virtue of recognition by three antibodies, as well as enhanced sensitivity owing to reduced background and amplified detection. Finally, we also illustrate how the assays can be applied for parallel detection of proteins, taking advantage of the oligonucleotide ligation step to avoid background problems that might arise with multiplexing. The protocol for the singleplex solid-phase proximity ligation assay takes ?5 h. The multiplex version of the assay takes 7-8 h depending on whether quantitative PCR (qPCR) or sequencing is used as the readout. The time for the sequencing-based protocol includes the library preparation but not the actual sequencing, as times may vary based on the choice of sequencing platform.
View details for DOI 10.1038/nprot.2013.070
View details for PubMedID 23722261
Elevated MARK2-Dependent Phosphorylation of Tau in Alzheimer's Disease
JOURNAL OF ALZHEIMERS DISEASE
2013; 33 (3): 699-713
The microtubule-affinity regulating kinase (MARK) family consists of four highly conserved members that have been implicated in phosphorylation of tau protein, causing formation of neurofibrillary tangles in Alzheimer's disease (AD). Understanding of roles by individual MARK isoform in phosphorylating tau has been limited due to lack of antibodies selective for each MARK isoform. In this study, we first applied the proximity ligation assay on cells to select antibodies specific for each MARK isoform. In cells, a CagA peptide specifically and significantly inhibited tau phosphorylation at Ser(262) mediated by MARK4 but not other MARK isoforms. We then used these antibodies to study expression levels of MARK isoforms and interactions between tau and individual MARK isoforms in postmortem human brains. We found a strong and significant elevation of MARK4 expression and MARK4-tau interactions in AD brains, correlating with the Braak stages of the disease. These results suggest the MARK4-tau interactions are of functional importance in the progression of AD and the results also identify MARK4 as a promising target for AD therapy.
View details for PubMedID 23666762
DNA-assisted protein detection technologies
EXPERT REVIEW OF PROTEOMICS
2012; 9 (1): 21-32
The appearance of neurofibrillary tangles (NFT), one of the major hallmarks of Alzheimer's disease (AD), is most likely caused by inappropriate phosphorylation and/or dephosphorylation of tau, eventually leading to the accumulation of NFTs. Enhanced phosphorylation of tau on Ser(262) is detected early in the course of the disease and may have a role in the formation of tangles. Several kinases such as microtubule-affinity regulating kinase (MARK), protein kinase A, calcium calmodulin kinase II, and checkpoint kinase 2 are known to phosphorylate tau on Ser(262) in vitro. In this study, we took advantage of the in situ proximity ligation assay to investigate the role of MARK2, one of the four MARK isoforms, in AD. We demonstrate that MARK2 interacts with tau and phosphorylates tau at Ser(262) in stably transfected NIH/3T3 cells expressing human recombinant tau. Staurosporine, a protein kinase inhibitor, significantly reduced the interaction between MARK2 and tau, and also phosphorylation of tau at Ser(262). Furthermore, we observed elevated interactions between MARK2 and tau in post-mortem human AD brains, compared to samples from non-demented elderly controls. Our results from transfected cells demonstrate a specific interaction between MARK2 and tau, as well as MARK2-dependent phosphorylation of tau at Ser(262). Furthermore, the elevated interactions between MARK2 and tau in AD brain sections suggests that MARK2 may play an important role in early phosphorylation of tau in AD, possibly qualifying as a therapeutic target for intervention to prevent disease progression.
View details for DOI 10.3233/JAD-2012-121357
View details for Web of Science ID 000313620500005
View details for PubMedID 23001711
Western Blotting via Proximity Ligation for High Performance Protein Analysis
MOLECULAR & CELLULAR PROTEOMICS
2011; 10 (11)
Improved protein assays promise to offer new insights into biological processes as well as the identification of new, clinically important biomarkers. In recent years, a number of approaches have been developed where protein-binding reagents, typically antibodies, are equipped with DNA strands to enable protein analyses via powerful nucleic acid detection reactions for improved performance. In this review, we provide a background to this emerging field, and we describe several different ways in which these reagents can improve protein analyses by lowering detection thresholds, improving multiplexing and extending the range of biomolecules available for analysis, both in research settings and in clinical routine.
View details for DOI 10.1586/EPR.11.78
View details for Web of Science ID 000300918400009
View details for PubMedID 22292821
Sensitive Plasma Protein Analysis by Microparticle-based Proximity Ligation Assays
MOLECULAR & CELLULAR PROTEOMICS
2010; 9 (2): 327-335
Western blotting is a powerful and widely used method, but limitations in detection sensitivity and specificity, and dependence upon high quality antibodies to detect targeted proteins, are hurdles to overcome. The in situ proximity ligation assay, based on dual antibody recognition and powerful localized signal amplification, offers increased detection sensitivity and specificity, along with an ability to identify complex targets such as phosphorylated or interacting proteins. Here we have applied the in situ proximity ligation assay mechanism in Western blotting. This combination allowed the use of isothermal rolling circle amplification of DNA molecules formed in target-specific ligation reaction, for 16-fold or greater increase in detection sensitivity. The increased specificity because of dual antibody recognition ensured highly selective assays, detecting the specific band when combinations of two cross-reactive antitubulin antibodies were used (i.e. both producing distinct nonspecific bands in traditional Western blotting). We also demonstrated detection of phosphorylated platelet-derived growth factor receptor ? by proximity ligation with one antibody directed against the receptor and another directed against the phosphorylated tyrosine residue. This avoided the need for stripping and re-probing the membrane or aligning two separate traditional blots. We demonstrate that the high-performance in situ proximity ligation-based Western blotting described herein is compatible with detection via enhanced chemiluminescence and fluorescence detection systems, and can thus be readily employed in any laboratory.
View details for DOI 10.1074/mcp.O111.011031
View details for Web of Science ID 000296759400019
View details for PubMedID 21813417
Analysis of Genes, Transcripts, and Proteins via DNA Ligation
ANNUAL REVIEW OF ANALYTICAL CHEMISTRY
2009; 2: 215-239
Detection of proteins released in the bloodstream from tissues damaged by disease can promote early detection of pathological conditions, differential diagnostics, and follow-up of therapy. Despite these prospects and a plethora of candidate biomarkers, efforts in recent years to establish new protein diagnostic assays have met with limited success. One important limiting factor has been the challenge of detecting proteins present at trace levels in complex bodily fluids. To achieve robust, sensitive, and specific detection, we have developed a microparticle-based solid-phase proximity ligation assay, dependent on simultaneous recognition of target proteins by three antibody molecules for added specificity. After capture on a microparticle, solid-phase pairs of proximity probes are added followed by washes, enabling detection and identification of rare protein molecules in blood while consuming small amounts of sample. We demonstrate that single polyclonal antibody preparations raised against target proteins of interest can be readily used to establish assays where detection depends on target recognition by three individual antibody molecules, recognizing separate epitopes. The assay was compared with state-of-the-art sandwich ELISAs for detection of vascular endothelial growth factor, interleukin-8 and interleukin-6, and it was found to be superior both with regard to dynamic range and minimal numbers of molecules detected. Furthermore, the assays exhibited excellent performance in undiluted plasma and serum as well as in whole blood, producing comparable results for nine different antigens. We thus show that solid-phase proximity ligation assay is suitable for validation of a variety of protein biomarkers over broad dynamic ranges in clinical samples.
View details for DOI 10.1074/mcp.M900248-MCP200
View details for Web of Science ID 000275506200010
View details for PubMedID 19955079
Analytical reactions in which short DNA strands are used in combination with DNA ligases have proven useful for measuring, decoding, and locating most classes of macromolecules. Given the need to accumulate large amounts of precise molecular information from biological systems in research and in diagnostics, ligation reactions will continue to offer valuable strategies for advanced analytical reactions. Here, we provide a basis for further development of methods by reviewing the history of analytical ligation reactions, discussing the properties of ligation reactions that render them suitable for engineering novel assays, describing a wide range of successful ligase-based assays, and briefly considering future directions.
View details for DOI 10.1146/annurev-anchem-060908-155239
View details for Web of Science ID 000268069300011
View details for PubMedID 20636060