Bacillus anthracis is regarded as a major biological warfare threat. The inhalation form of Bacillus anthracis infection can kill quickly. While antibiotic treatment can clear the bacterium from the host, if diagnosis is delayed, the toxin, which is rapidly produced, may already be present in lethal amounts. There is a critical need for a rapid, accurate, sensitive and simple assay to determine whether infection has occurred thereby allowing immediate treatment.
Anthrax Detection Method
Anthrax lethal factor (LF), an endopeptidase, is present in blood in the early stages of the infection. The use of peptidic substrates in plasma is problematic due to the presence of other proteases and the likelihood of nonspecific cleavage of the substrate. A fluorescently labeled peptide substrate, MAPKKide Plus, Prod #532, which is not cleaved by plasma proteases and thus is specific for LF has been designed. The LF is enriched by capture from plasma using an LF antibody-coated microtiter plate, and the captured LF is then exposed to the fluorescent substrate. The amount of cleaved peptide substrate is determined by HPLC with fluorescence detection. Concentration of the LF using the antibody-coated plates allows for the detection of 5 pg LF/ml of neat plasma after 2 hours of incubation. Alternately, the MAPKKide Plus may be added directly to diluted plasma and cleavage monitored by an increase in fluorescence as a function of time using a fluorescent microplate reader. The limit of detection by this simpler method is 1 ng LF/ml of plasma after 5 hours of digestion. Both methods can be confirmed by analysis of the reaction as a function of time. These methods are described in the poster Sensitive Detection of Anthrax Lethal Factor in Plasma Using a Specific Biotinylated Fluorogenic Substrate.
What’s Next for Anthrax Detection Method
We are currently working with a biotinylated form of MAPKKide Plus to enhance the sensitivity of the simpler method using the fluorescent plate reader rather than HPLC.
You can see the poster here. To see a complete list of all of List Labs’ posters check out this blog post.
Interested in learning more about this List Labs patented peptide substrate? Contact us!
List Labs’ founder Linda Shoer
The origin of businesses is often an interesting story. List Biological Laboratories is no exception. The company was founded in 1978 by Linda Shoer. Linda was an entrepreneurial scientist in Silicon Valley, who’d been relocated with her husband from Boston. She had an idea for a company and leveraged an initial order into a loan from a bank, fearless that her vision would be successful. That order and loan served as the starting point for List Laboratories. The first product was a Cholera Toxin.
List Labs Develops Full Range of Bacterial Toxins and Contract Manufacturing Services
Linda had a clear plan for the company and it involved the development of a product line devoted exclusively to Bacterial Toxins and related products. List Labs was the first to commercialize many bacterial toxins for research including C. difficile Toxins and Pertussis Toxins.
Linda was well connected and comfortable networking with colleagues and proposing new business ideas or ventures. She got the company involved in contract manufacturing and consulting early on. In the 90’s List Labs was instrumental in the manufacturing of a very popular injectable consumer product to smooth facial wrinkles. Upon her death, she left the business to the current management team; a team that has now worked together for over 20 years.
List Labs – Still Women-Owned and Cutting Edge
Shoer’s presence is still strongly felt and the company has always remained a women owned and operated business. In an era of takeovers and transition, List Laboratories has remained true to its founding and focus. Today, the List Labs catalog offers over 100 products including Toxins, Peptides, Antibodies and Lipopolysaccharides. Many of the employees have worked together for decades.
In 2008, the company built out a new lab, complete with state of the art equipment. List has produced several batches of high purity proteins used to test vaccines. Additionally, the company specializes in the production, shipment and handling of dangerous goods. In the last several years List Labs has worked on a variety of microbiome projects, custom fills, development work and special Select Agent projects on various subtypes of Botulinum Toxin. We have also provided GMP product for many phase 1 and 2 clinical trials. We enjoy the variety of work and welcome inquiries from new customers.
Today, List Labs takes great pride in its reputation for high quality products and exceptional customer service. The company works with businesses and organizations worldwide on custom projects or contract manufacturing opportunities as well as selling a broad array of toxins and related products. List Labs heart is in the science and the discovery of innovative solutions. Their office is located in Campbell, CA, in the Silicon Valley. If you have questions about any of our products or services, contact us today!