PloS one

High throughput identification of monoclonal antibodies to membrane bound and secreted proteins using yeast and phage display.

PMID 25353955


Antibodies are ubiquitous and essential reagents for biomedical research. Uses of antibodies include quantifying proteins, identifying the temporal and spatial pattern of expression in cells and tissue, and determining how proteins function under normal or pathological conditions. Specific antibodies are only available for a small portion of the proteome, limiting study of those proteins for which antibodies do not exist. The technologies to generate target-specific antibodies need to be improved to obtain high quality antibodies to the proteome at reasonable cost. Here we show that renewable, validated, and standardized monoclonal antibodies can be generated at high throughput, without the need for antigen production or animal immunizations. In this study, 60 protein domains from 24 selected secreted proteins were expressed on the surface of yeast and used for selection of phage antibodies, over 400 monoclonal antibodies were identified within 3 weeks. A subset of these antibodies was validated for binding to cancer cells that overexpress the target protein by flow cytometry or immunohistochemistry. This approach will be applicable to many of the membrane-bound and the secreted proteins, 20-40% of the proteome, accelerating the timeline for Ab generation while reducing the cost.