Construction, Expression, Purification and Biotin Labeling of a Single Recombinant Multi-Epitope Antigen for Double-Antigen Sandwich ELISA to Detect Hepatitis C Virus Antibody

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Based on B cell epitope predictions, a recombinant antigen with multiple epitopes from four Hepatitis C Virus fragments (C, NS3, NS4 and NS5) were engineered. The recombinant gene was then highly expressed in E. coli. The nonmodified and C-terminal-modified recombinant proteins were used for coating and biotin labeling, respectively, to establish the double-antigen sandwich ELISA. Ten positive reference samples confirmed by the CHIRON RIBA HCV 3.0 SIA kit were detected positive, Forty one plasma samples were positive among samples from 441 volunteers, which indicated that the recombinant antigen could readily react well with plasma HCV antibody. As critical reagents of double-antigen sandwich ELISA, the recombinant multi-epitope antigen and the C-terminal-modified and biotin-conjugated antigen show good antigenicity. In this study, we provide a simple approach to produce multiple epitopes within one recombinant protein in order to avoid the costly expression of less-effective pools of multiple proteins, which is the conventional strategy of diagnostic antigen production for HCV antibody detection.

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  • Protein & Peptide Letters publishes short papers in all important aspects of protein and peptide research, including structural studies, recombinant expression, function, synthesis, enzymology, immunology, molecular modeling, drug design etc. Manuscripts must have a significant element of novelty, timeliness and urgency that merit rapid publication. Reports of crystallisation, and preliminary structure determinations of biologically important proteins are acceptable. Purely theoretical papers are also acceptable provided they provide new insight into the principles of protein/peptide structure and function.
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