Next Article in Journal
Investigation of Binding Modes and Functional Surface of Scorpion Toxins ANEP to Sodium Channels 1.7
Previous Article in Journal
Are We Underestimating Benthic Cyanotoxins? Extensive Sampling Results from Spain
Article Menu
Issue 12 (December) cover image

Export Article

Open AccessEditor’s ChoiceArticle
Toxins 2017, 9(12), 386;

Detection of Abrin Holotoxin Using Novel Monoclonal Antibodies

Western Regional Research Center, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, 800 Buchanan Street, Albany, CA 94710, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Tomas Girbes and Nilgun E. Tumer
Received: 8 September 2017 / Revised: 9 November 2017 / Accepted: 23 November 2017 / Published: 28 November 2017
(This article belongs to the Section Plant Toxins)
PDF [5682 KB, uploaded 28 November 2017]


Abrin, a member of the ribosome-inactivating protein family, is produced by the Abrus precatorius plant. Having the potential to pose a severe threat to both human and animal health, abrin is classified as a Select Agent by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. However, an immunoassay that is specific for intact abrin holotoxin has not yet been reported. In this study, seven new monoclonal antibodies (mAbs), designated as Abrin-1 through Abrin-7 have been developed. Isotyping analyses indicate these mAbs have IgG1, IgG2a, or IgG2b heavy-chains and kappa light-chains. Western blot analyses identified two abrin A-chain specific mAbs, Abrin-1 and Abrin-2, and four B-chain specific mAbs (Abrin-3, -5, -6, and -7). A sandwich enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), capable of detecting a mixture of abrin isoforms and agglutinins was developed using B-chain specific Abrin-3 for capture and A-chain specific Abrin-2 as detector. The ELISA is highly sensitive and detects 1 ng/mL of the abrin holotoxin in phosphate-buffered saline, nonfat milk, and whole milk, significantly below concentrations that would pose a health concern for consumers. This ELISA also detects native abrin in plant extracts with a very low background signal. The new abrin mAbs and ELISA should be useful for detecting this potent toxin in the milk supply chain and other complex matrices. View Full-Text
Keywords: abrin; agglutinin; enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay; milk; monoclonal antibody; ricin; Western blot abrin; agglutinin; enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay; milk; monoclonal antibody; ricin; Western blot

Figure 1

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

He, X.; Patfield, S.; Cheng, L.W.; Stanker, L.H.; Rasooly, R.; McKeon, T.A.; Zhang, Y.; Brandon, D.L. Detection of Abrin Holotoxin Using Novel Monoclonal Antibodies. Toxins 2017, 9, 386.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics



[Return to top]
Toxins EISSN 2072-6651 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top