OBJECTIVE/BACKGROUND: The development of new tools capable of targeting Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb)-infected cells have potential applications in diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of tuberculosis. In Mtb-infected cells, CD1b molecules present Mtb lipids to the immune system (Mtb lipid-CD1b complexes). Because of the lack of CD1b polymorphism, specific Mtb lipid-CD1b complexes could be considered as universal Mtb infection markers. 2-Stearoyl-3-hydroxyphthioceranoyl-2'-sulfate-α-α'-d-trehalose (Ac2SGL) is specific for Mtb, and is not present in other mycobacterial species. The CD1b-Ac2SGL complexes are expressed on the surface of human cells infected with Mtb. The aim of this study was to generate ligands capable of binding these CD1b-Ac2SGL complexes.
METHODS: A synthetic human scFv phage antibody library was used to select phage-displayed antibody fragments that recognized CD1b-Ac2SGL using CD1b-transfected THP-1 cells loaded with Ac2SGL.
RESULTS: One clone, D11-a single, light-variable domain (kappa) antibody (dAbκ11)-showed high relative binding to the Ac2SGL-CD1b complex.
CONCLUSION: A ligand recognizing the Ac2SGL-CD1b complex was obtained, which is a potential candidate to be further tested for diagnostic and therapeutic applications.