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Characterization of Self-Assembled Monolayers of Peptide Mimotopes of CD20 Antigen and Their Binding with Rituximab

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journal contribution
posted on 29.12.2015 by Norman Leo, Yuqin Shang, Jing-jiang Yu, Xiangqun Zeng
CD20, expressed in greater than 90% of B-lymphocytic lymphomas, is a target for antibody therapy. Rituximab is a chimeric therapeutic monoclonal antibody (mAb) against the protein CD20, allowing it to destroy B cells and to treat lymphoma, leukemia, transplant rejection, and autoimmune disorder. In this work, the binding of rituximab to self-assembled monolayers (SAMs) of peptide mimotopes of CD20 antigen was systematically characterized. Four peptide mimotopes of CD 20 antigen were selected from the literature and redesigned to allow their SAM immobilizations on gold electrodes through a peptide linker with cysteine. The bindings of these peptides with rituximab and control mAbs (trastuzumab and bevacizumab) were characterized by quartz crystal microbalance (QCM). Among the four peptide mimotopes initially selected, the peptide designated as CN-14 (CGSGSGSWPRWLEN) was the most selective and sensitive for rituximab binding. The CN-14 SAM was further characterized by ellipsometry and atomic force microscopy. The thickness of the CN-14 SAM film was approximately 32 Å, and the CN-14 SAM is suggested to be stabilized by a salt bridge of Arg-10 and Glu-13 between CN-14 peptides. The CN-14 salt bridge was evaluated by a series of modifications to the CN-14 peptide sequence and characterized by QCM. The CN-14 amide variant produced a better affinity to rituximab than CN-14 without a significant impact on selectivity. As the pKa of the Glu residue of CN-14 increased, the affinity of the SAM to rituximab increased, whereas the selectivity decreased. This was attributed to the weakening of the salt bridge between the CN-14 Arg-10 and Glu-13 at higher pKa values for Glu-13. Our study shows that peptide mimotopes have potential benefits in sensor applications, as the peptide–peptide interactions in the SAMs can be manipulated by the addition of functional groups to the peptide to influence the binding of target proteins.