Rapid and sensitive immunomagnetic-electrochemiluminescent detection of p53 antibodies in human serum

J Immunol Methods. 2004 May;288(1-2):47-54. doi: 10.1016/j.jim.2004.02.006.


The mutation of tumor suppressor p53 gene is common in malignant tumor. p53 antibodies are products of immunoresponse against abnormal p53 protein. It has been found that p53 antibodies are of importance in tumor's diagnosis, prognosis and relapse monitoring. However, current method for detecting p53 antibodies, i.e. enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), requires a long time with multiple steps, and the assay is only semi-quantitative. In this work, a protocol for quantitative detection of p53 antibodies in human serum using immunomagnetic electrochemiluminescence (IM-ECL) was devoloped. The immunoassay format consisted of a three antibody sandwich in which a biotinylated capture antibody, was banded with the commercial p53 protein. A detector antibody was added to bind the p53 protein at another site. Then, secondary antibody, labeled with ruthenium(II) tris-bipyridal, was added and, when bound to the bead immunocompiex, generated light in the presence of an excess of tripropylamine. The light was detected and measured by the analyzer made by us. Our experimental results indicate that the sensitivity of this assay was 10 pg of p53 antibodies per ml of reference serum (normal human serum). A stable calibration curve with a wide dynamic range was established. The calibration curve was linear from 0.01 to 1000 ng/ml, thus, making quantitation possible. An immunologic prozone effect was observed above 1000 ng p53 antibodies per milliliter of serum. Serum samples from lung and nasopharyngeal carcinoma patients were tested using the IM-ECL assay. The positive rate of p53 antibodies were 28.6% in lung carcinoma and 8.33% in nasopharyngeal carcinoma, respectively. p53 antibody concentration in the carcerous human sera were quantified from the calibration curve. In the case of lung carcinoma, a trend was found that a higher p53 antibody concentration in the serum was likely linked to a higher stage of the cancer. This trend was not found in nasopharyngeal carcinoma. The assay uses only 50 microl of sample per test and requires a 30-min incubation period in addition to a 50 s acquisition time. This assay has several advantages over the commonly used ELISA method in terms of sensitivity, linear range, and assay time. Results of the study suggest that IM-ECL is a feasible method for rapid and sensitive detection of p53 antibodies in human serum.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antibodies / analysis*
  • Antibodies / blood
  • Antibodies / immunology*
  • Carcinoma / immunology
  • Electrochemistry / methods*
  • Humans
  • Immunomagnetic Separation / methods*
  • Luminescent Measurements
  • Lung Neoplasms / immunology
  • Serum / immunology
  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53 / immunology*


  • Antibodies
  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53