Selection of a human butyrylcholinesterase-like antibody single-chain variable fragment resistant to AChE inhibitors from a phage library expressed inE. coli

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Abstract

Organophosphates are potent poisoning agents that cause severe cholinergic toxicity. Current treatment has been reported to be unsatisfactory and novel antidotes are needed. In this study, we used a single-chain variable fragment (scFv) library to select a recombinant antibody fragment (WZ1-14.2.1) with butyrylcholinesterase-like catalytic activity by using an innovative method integrating genetic selection and the bait-and-switch strategy. Ellman assay demonstrated that WZ1-14.2.1 has Michaelis-Menten kinetics in the hydrolysis of all the three substrates used, acetylthiocholine, propionylthiocholine and butyrylthiocholine. Notably, the catalytic activity was resistant to the following acetylcholinesterase inhibitors: neostigmine, iso-OMPA, chlorpyrifos oxon, dichlorvos, and paraoxon ethyl. Otherwise, the enzymatic activity of WZ1-14.2.1 was inhibited by the selective butyrylcholinesterase inhibitor, ethopropazine, and by the Ser-blocking agent phenylmethanesuphonyl fluoride. A hypothetical 3D structure of the WZ1-14.2.1 catalytic site, compatible with functional results, is proposed on the basis of a molecular modeling analysis.

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