Exploring blocking assays using Octet, ProteOn, and Biacore biosensors.


Yasmina N Abdiche, Dan S Malashock, Alanna Pinkerton, Jaume Pons

Analytical Biochemistry



We demonstrate the use of label-free real-time optical biosensors in competitive binding assays by epitope binning a panel of antibodies. We describe three assay orientations that we term in tandem, premix, and classical sandwich blocking, and we perform each of them on three platforms: ForteBio's Octet QK, Bio-Rad's ProteOn XPR36, and GE Healthcare's Biacore 3000. By testing whether antibodies block one another's binding to their antigen in a pairwise fashion, we establish a blocking profile for each antibody relative to the others in the panel. The blocking information is then used to create "bins" of antibodies with similar epitopes. The advantages and disadvantages of each biosensor, factors to consider when deciding on the most appropriate blocking assay orientation for a particular interaction system, and tips for dealing with ambiguous data are discussed. The data from our different assay orientations and biosensors agree very well, establishing these machines as valuable tools for characterizing antibody epitopes and multiprotein complexes of biological significance.

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