Systematic assessment of antibody selectivity in plasma based on a resource of enrichment profiles

Sci Rep. 2019 Jun 6;9(1):8324. doi: 10.1038/s41598-019-43552-5.


There is a strong need for procedures that enable context and application dependent validation of antibodies. Here, we applied a magnetic bead assisted workflow and immunoprecipitation mass spectrometry (IP-MS/MS) to assess antibody selectivity for the detection of proteins in human plasma. A resource was built on 414 IP experiments using 157 antibodies (targeting 120 unique proteins) in assays with heat-treated or untreated EDTA plasma. For each protein we determined their antibody related degrees of enrichment using z-scores and their frequencies of identification across all IP assays. Out of 1,313 unique endogenous proteins, 426 proteins (33%) were detected in >20% of IPs, and these background components were mainly comprised of proteins from the complement system. For 45% (70/157) of the tested antibodies, the expected target proteins were enriched (z-score ≥ 3). Among these 70 antibodies, 59 (84%) co-enriched other proteins beside the intended target and mainly due to sequence homology or protein abundance. We also detected protein interactions in plasma, and for IGFBP2 confirmed these using several antibodies and sandwich immunoassays. The protein enrichment data with plasma provide a very useful and yet lacking resource for the assessment of antibody selectivity. Our insights will contribute to a more informed use of affinity reagents for plasma proteomics assays.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antibodies / chemistry*
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / chemistry
  • Blood Proteins / analysis*
  • CHO Cells
  • Chromatography, Liquid
  • Complement System Proteins / chemistry*
  • Cricetinae
  • Cricetulus
  • Edetic Acid / chemistry
  • Female
  • Hot Temperature
  • Humans
  • Immunoassay
  • Immunomagnetic Separation
  • Male
  • Plasma / chemistry*
  • Protein Interaction Mapping
  • Proteome
  • Recombinant Proteins / chemistry
  • Tandem Mass Spectrometry


  • Antibodies
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Blood Proteins
  • Proteome
  • Recombinant Proteins
  • Complement System Proteins
  • Edetic Acid