Generation of a Single Chain Antibody Variable Fragment (scFv) to Sense Selectively RhoB Activation.

Chinestra P, Olichon A, Medale-Giamarchi C, Lajoie-Mazenc I, Gence R, Inard C, Ligat L, Faye JC, Favre G. – 03/11/2014

PLoS One

See the article on PubMed

Determining the cellular level of activated form of RhoGTPases is of key importance to understand their regulatory functions in cell physiopathology. We previously reported scFvC1, that selectively bind to the GTP-bound form of RhoA, RhoB and RhoC. In this present study we generate, by molecular evolution, a new phage library to isolate scFvs displaying high affinity and selectivity to RhoA and RhoB. Using phage display affinity maturation against the GTP-locked mutant RhoAL63, we isolated scFvs against RhoA active conformation that display Kd values at the nanomolar range, which corresponded to an increase of affinity of three orders of magnitude compared to scFvC1. Although a majority of these evolved scFvs remained selective towards the active conformation of RhoA, RhoB and RhoC, we identified some scFvs that bind to RhoA and RhoC but not to RhoB activated form. Alternatively, we performed a substractive panning towards RhoB, and isolated the scFvE3 exhibiting a 10 times higher affinity for RhoB than RhoA activated forms. We showed the peculiar ability of scFvE3 to detect RhoB but not RhoA GTP-bound form in cell extracts overexpressing Guanine nucleotide Exchange Factor XPLN as well as in EGF stimulated HeLa cells. Our results demonstrated the ability of scFvs to distinguish RhoB from RhoA GTP-bound form and provide new selective tools to analyze the cell biology of RhoB GTPase regulation.