Mass-Tag Enhanced Immuno-Laser Desorption/Ionization Mass Spectrometry for Sensitive Detection of Intact Protein Antigens

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


A new read-out method for antibody arrays using laser desorption/ionization-mass spectrometry (LDI-MS) is presented. Small, photocleavable reporter molecules with a defined mass called "mass-tags" are used for detection of immunocaptured proteins from human plasma. Using prostate specific antigen (PSA), a biomarker for prostate cancer, as a model antigen, a high sensitivity generic detection methodology based immunocapture with a primary antibody and with a biotin labeled secondary antibody coupled to mass-tagged avidin is demonstrated. As each secondary antibody can bind several avidin molecules, each having a large number of mass-tags, signal amplification can be achieved. The developed PSA sandwich mass-tag analysis method provided a limit of detection below 200 pg/mL (6 pM) for a 10 mu L plasma sample, Well below the clinically relevant cutoff value of 3-4 ng/mL. This brings the limit of detection (LOD) for detection of intact antigens with matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization-mass spectrometry (MALDI-MS) down to levels comparable to capture by anti-peptide antibodies selected reaction monitoring (SISCAPA SRM) and enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), as 6 pM corresponds to a maximal amount of 60 amol PSA captured on-spot. We :propose the potential use Of LDI (laser desorption/ionization) with mass-tag read-out implemented in a sandwich assay format for low abundant and/or early disease biomarker detection.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Medical Laboratory and Measurements Technologies
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5255-5262
JournalAnalytical Chemistry
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Publication categoryResearch