Development of an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay for detection of CDCP1 shed from the cell surface and present in colorectal cancer serum specimens

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CUB domain containing protein 1 (CDCP1) is a transmembrane protein involved in progression of several cancers. When located on the plasma membrane, full-length 135 kDa CDCP1 can undergo proteolysis mediated by serine proteases that cleave after two adjacent amino acids (arginine 368 and lysine 369). This releases from the cell surface two 65 kDa fragments, collectively termed ShE-CDCP1, that differ by one carboxyl terminal residue. To evaluate the function of CDCP1 and its potential utility as a cancer biomarker, in this study we developed an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) to reliably and easily measure the concentration of ShE-CDCP1 in biological samples. Using a reference standard we demonstrate that the developed ELISA has a working range of 0.68–26.5 ng/ml, and the limit of detection is 0.25 ng/ml. It displays high intra-assay (repeatability) and high inter-assay (reproducibility) precision with all coefficients of variation ≤7%. The ELISA also displays high accuracy detecting ShE-CDCP1 levels at ≥94.8% of actual concentration using quality control samples. We employed the ELISA to measure the concentration of ShE-CDCP1 in human serum samples with our results suggesting that levels are significantly higher in serum of colorectal cancer patients compared with serum from individuals with benign conditions (p < 0.05). Our data also suggest that colorectal cancer patients with stage II-IV disease have at least 50% higher serum levels of ShE-CDCP1 compared with stage I cases (p < 0.05). We conclude that the developed ELISA is a suitable method to quantify ShE-CDCP1 concentration in human serum.

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