Corporate Banner
Satellite Banner
Molecular & Clinical Diagnostics
Scientific Community
 
Become a Member | Sign in
Home>News>This Article
  News
Return

Scripps Research Institute Study Underlines Potential of New Technology to Diagnose Disease

Published: Tuesday, March 26, 2013
Last Updated: Tuesday, March 26, 2013
Bookmark and Share
The novel method points to new blood tests for conditions from Alzheimer’s to autoimmune diseases.

Researchers at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) in Jupiter, FL, have developed cutting-edge technology that can successfully screen human blood for disease markers. This tool may hold the key to better diagnosing and understanding today’s most pressing and puzzling health conditions, including autoimmune diseases.

“This study validates that the ‘antigen surrogate’ technology will indeed be a powerful tool for diagnostics,” said Thomas Kodadek, PhD, a professor in the Departments of Chemistry and Cancer Biology and vice chairman of the Department of Chemistry at TSRI, whose group developed the technology.

The latest study, published in the journal Chemistry & Biology on March 21, 2013, shows how the technology accurately identified human blood markers for neuromyelitis optica (NMO), a rare autoimmune disorder resembling multiple sclerosis that can result in blindness and paralysis. Following a similar study on mouse models for multiple sclerosis two years ago, the work confirms that the technique can also be successfully applied to humans.

Finding the Needle in a Haystack

The blood is filled with molecules called “antibodies” released by the immune system to defend the body against disease. Many autoimmune diseases produce antibodies specific to that disease. Identifying these disease-specific antibodies among the millions of other similar yet non-disease-specific antibodies in the blood, however, is much like finding a needle in a haystack.

Many current diagnostic methods detect disease-specific antibodies by using part of the virus, bacteria or cellular component targeted by the antibody in a patient’s body, essentially “fishing” for the antibody using its distinct target as bait. Unfortunately, many disease-specific antibodies and their targets are currently unidentified.

Kodadek and his colleagues have found a way to sidestep this conundrum by substituting these unknown antibody-binding targets with biologically unnatural molecules called “peptoids.” Peptoids are chain-like molecules tethered to tiny beads and extended “link by link” by the sequential addition of small chemical subunits. By using different subunits and randomizing their order, chemists can produce libraries of thousands and even millions of different peptoids quickly and easily.

These vast libraries are screened for peptoid “hits” that bind exclusively to antibodies found only in patients known to have a specific disease. “We find disease biomarkers differently [than anyone else],” explained Kodadek. “This enables new disease biomarker detection.” Additionally, by using these peptoid hits to “fish” for disease-specific antibodies, the system enables disease-specific antibody detection without first knowing the antibodies’ natural binding targets.

A Diagnostic Revolution

Using this technology, the group identified several peptoids that bound exclusively to antibodies in NMO patient blood serum and not healthy patients or patients with similar diseases, including multiple sclerosis, lupus, Alzheimer’s disease and narcolepsy. At least one of the peptoids bound to an antibody that is well known to be associated with NMO.

The study builds on technology that the group successfully used to identify disease markers in mouse models for multiple sclerosis, introduced in a January 2011 publication in the journal Cell. “[Our latest study] is proof positive that our technology works in complex human systems as well,” explained Kodadek.

Kodadek noted the new study also introduced a technical advance that increases the technology’s utility, significantly improving the peptoid library screening process. This step initially involved the time-consuming and painstakingly tedious task of removing peptoids from beads and refixating them to a different solid support, called a microarray.

 “This is the first time we screened peptoid libraries directly on the beads [on which they were made] instead of using microarrays,” said Bindu Raveendra, PhD, staff scientist who was a first author of the study with postdoctoral researcher Wu Hao. “Previously, we could screen thousands of peptoids at a time; now, we can now screen millions. That just wasn’t feasible using microarrays.”

In addition to Raveendra, Hao and Kodadek, authors of the paper “Discovery Of Peptoid Ligands For Anti-Aquaporin 4 Antibodies” are Roberto Baccala and Argyrios N. Theofilopoulos of the TSRI Immunology & Microbial Science Department, M. Muralidhar Reddy and Jessica Schilke of Opko Health and Jeffrey L. Bennett of the University of Colorado School of Medicine Neurology and Ophthalmology Department.


Further Information

Join For Free

Access to this exclusive content is for Technology Networks Premium members only.

Join Technology Networks Premium for free access to:

  • Exclusive articles
  • Presentations from international conferences
  • Over 3,100+ scientific posters on ePosters
  • More than 4,500+ scientific videos on LabTube
  • 35 community eNewsletters


Sign In



Forgotten your details? Click Here
If you are not a member you can join here

*Please note: By logging into TechnologyNetworks.com you agree to accept the use of cookies. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our privacy policy.


Scientific News
Grant Supports Project To Develop Simple Test To Screen For Cervical Cancer
UCLA Engineering announces funding from Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
Loss Of Y Chromosome Increases Risk Of Alzheimer’s
Men with blood cells that do not carry the Y chromosome are at greater risk of being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. This is in addition to an increased risk of death from other causes, including many cancers. These new findings by researchers at Uppsala University could lead to a simple test to identify those at risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.
Making Virus Sensors Cheap and Simple
Researchers at The University of Texas at Austin demonstrated the ability to detect single viruses in a solution containing murine cytomegalovirus (MCMV).
Heart Defect Prediction Technology Could Lead to Earlier, More Informed Treatment
Experimental method uses genetics-guided biomechanics, patient-specific stem cells.
Biosensor Detects Molecules Linked to Cancer, Alzheimer's and Parkinson's
Novel biosensor has been proven capable of detecting molecules associated with neurodegenerative diseases and some types of cancer.
Big Data Can Save Lives
The sharing of genetic information from millions of cancer patients around the world could be key to revolutionising cancer prevention and care, according to a leading cancer expert from Queen's University Belfast.
Fast, Simple Test for Colitis
A minimally invasive screening for ulcerative colitis using emerging infrared technology could be a rapid and cost-effective method for detecting disease that eliminates the need for biopsies and intrusive testing of the human body.
Scans Reveal Babies of Mothers with Gestational Diabetes Have More Body Fat
Researchers at Imperial College London have found that the babies born to mothers with gestational diabetes have more body fat at two months of age compared to babies born to healthy mothers.
New Device Could Improve Cancer Detection
UBC researchers develop a microfluidic device to capture circulating tumor cells.
Plasma Biomarkers for Breast Cancer Diagnosis
Plasma lipidomics profiling identified lipid biomarkers in distinguishing early-stage breast cancer from benign lesions.
Skyscraper Banner

SELECTBIO Market Reports
Go to LabTube
Go to eposters
 
Access to the latest scientific news
Exclusive articles
Upload and share your posters on ePosters
Latest presentations and webinars
View a library of 1,800+ scientific and medical posters
3,100+ scientific and medical posters
A library of 2,500+ scientific videos on LabTube
4,500+ scientific videos
Close
Premium CrownJOIN TECHNOLOGY NETWORKS PREMIUM FOR FREE!