Multiplexed protein profiling by sequential affinity capture

Proteomics. 2016 Apr;16(8):1251-6. doi: 10.1002/pmic.201500398. Epub 2016 Mar 31.


Antibody microarrays enable parallelized and miniaturized analysis of clinical samples, and have proven to provide novel insights for the analysis of different proteomes. However, there are concerns that the performance of such direct labeling and single antibody assays are prone to off-target binding due to the sample context. To improve selectivity and sensitivity while maintaining the possibility to conduct multiplexed protein profiling, we developed a multiplexed and semi-automated sequential capture assay. This novel bead-based procedure encompasses a first antigen capture, labeling of captured protein targets on magnetic particles, combinatorial target elution and a read-out by a secondary capture bead array. We demonstrate in a proof-of-concept setting that target detection via two sequential affinity interactions reduced off-target contribution, while lowered background and noise levels, improved correlation to clinical values compared to single binder assays. We also compared sensitivity levels with single binder and classical sandwich assays, explored the possibility for DNA-based signal amplification, and demonstrate the applicability of the dual capture bead-based antibody microarray for biomarker analysis. Hence, the described concept enhances the possibilities for antibody array assays to be utilized for protein profiling in body fluids and beyond.

Keywords: Affinity proteomics; Antibody arrays; Plasma profiling; Suspension bead arrays.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antigens / metabolism*
  • Binding, Competitive
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / blood
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Hydrogen-Ion Concentration
  • Magnetics
  • Male
  • Microspheres
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / blood
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Protein Array Analysis / methods*
  • Protein Binding
  • Proteome / metabolism*
  • Proteomics / methods*
  • Reproducibility of Results


  • Antigens
  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Proteome