Corporate Banner
Satellite Banner
Technology
Networks
Scientific Communities
 
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 3,000+ 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.

Related Content

Predicting Cell Changes that Affect Breast Cancer Growth
Researchers find small structural changes in a key breast cancer receptor that can predict cancer growth.
Tuesday, May 03, 2016
Secrets of a Deadly Virus Family Revealed
Scripps Research scientists uncover the glycoprotein structure of LCMV. The findings could guide development of treatments for Lassa fever.
Wednesday, April 27, 2016
First ‘Teenage’ HIV-Neutralizing Antibody Discovered
Scientists have studied the evolution of anti-HIV antibodies, with hopes of creating a vaccine to prevent AIDS.
Wednesday, April 06, 2016
Discovering 'Outlier' Enzymes
Researchers at TSRI and Salk Institute have discovered 'Outlier' enzymes that could offer new targets to treat type 2 diabetes and inflammatory disorders.
Saturday, April 02, 2016
Encouraging Foundation for Upcoming AIDS Vaccine Clinical Trial
Engineered vaccine protein binds key immune cells that exist in nearly everyone.
Tuesday, March 29, 2016
New Approach to Curbing Cancer Cell Growth
Using a new approach, scientists at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) and collaborating institutions have discovered a novel drug candidate that could be used to treat certain types of breast cancer, lung cancer and melanoma.
Monday, March 14, 2016
Vaccine Against Dangerous Designer Opioids
With use of synthetic opioid "designer drugs" on the rise, scientists from The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) have a new strategy to curb addiction and even prevent fatal overdoses.
Thursday, February 18, 2016
Potential Target for Treatment of Autism
Grant of $2.4 million will support further research.
Friday, October 02, 2015
Key Morphine Regulator Identified
The findings could lead to less addictive pain medications.
Thursday, September 24, 2015
$6 Million Awarded to Develop Alternative HIV/AIDS Vaccine
Scientists from the Florida campus of The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) have been awarded up to nearly $6 million from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to develop a revolutionary HIV/AIDS alternative vaccine that has demonstrated great potential in animal models.
Thursday, September 24, 2015
Novel Role of Mitochondria in Immune Function Identified
Scientists at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) have discovered a new role for an enzyme involved in cell death.
Monday, September 21, 2015
Scientists Make Strides in Therapy Preventing Addiction Relapse
Single Injection of Drug Candidate Prevents Meth Relapse in Animal Models.
Thursday, August 06, 2015
New Antibody Weapons Against Marburg Virus
A study has identified new immune molecules that protect against deadly Marburg virus, a relative of Ebola virus.
Tuesday, June 30, 2015
Team Led by TSRI Scientists Shows AIDS Vaccine Candidate Successfully ‘Primes’ Immune System
New research shows that an experimental vaccine candidate can stimulate immune activity necessary to prevent HIV infection.
Thursday, June 25, 2015
New Details of Potential Alzheimer’s Treatment Uncovered
Scientists from Florida’s Scripps Resarch Institute have uncovered suprising new details of potential Alzheimer’s treatment.
Wednesday, April 29, 2015
Scientific News
Improving Natural Killer Cancer Therapy
Vanderbilt University researchers discover transcription factor critical for NK cell expansion. Findings could lead to increased therapeutic efficacy.
Molecular Mechanism For Generating Specific Antibody Responses Discovered
Study could spur more ways to treat autoimmune disease, develop accurate vaccines.
Monovar Drills Down Into Cancer Genome
Rice, MD Anderson develop program to ID mutations in single cancer cells.
It’s Now Easier To Go With The Flow
Rice University tool simplifies comparison of flow cytometry data for laboratories.
Autism and Cancer Share a Remarkable Number of Risk Genes
Researchers with the UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center, MIND Institute identify more than 40 common genes.
Number Of Known Genetic Risk Factors For Endometrial Cancer Doubled
An international collaboration of researchers has identified five new gene regions that increase a woman’s risk of developing endometrial cancer, one of the most common cancers to affect women, taking the number of known gene regions associated with the disease to nine.
Genetic Variant May Help Explain Why Labradors Are Prone To Obesity
A genetic variation associated with obesity and appetite in Labrador retrievers – the UK and US’s favourite dog breed – has been identified by scientists at the University of Cambridge. The finding may explain why Labrador retrievers are more likely to become obese than dogs of other breeds.
FNIH Launches Project to Evaluate Biomarkers in Cancer Patients
Company has announced that it has launched a new project to evaluate the effectiveness of liquid biopsies as biomarkers in colorectal cancer patients.
Flowering Regulation Mechanism Discovered
Monash researchers have discovered a new mechanism that enables plants to regulate their flowering in response to raised temperatures.
Turning Skin Cells into Heart, Brain Cells
In a major breakthrough, scientists at the Gladstone Institutes transformed skin cells into heart cells and brain cells using a combination of chemicals.
Scroll Up
Scroll Down
Skyscraper Banner

Skyscraper Banner
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
3,000+ 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!