Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology, Vol.105, No.3, 923-935, 2021
Proximity ligation assay: an ultrasensitive method for protein quantification and its applications in pathogen detection
It is of great significance to establish sensitive and accurate pathogen detection methods, considering the continuous emergence or re-emergence of infectious diseases seriously influences the safety of human and animals. Proximity ligation assay (PLA) is developed for the sensitive protein detection and also can be used for the detection of pathogens. PLA employs aptamer or monoclonal/polyclonal antibody-nucleic acid complexes as proximity probes. When the paired proximity probes bind to the same target protein or protein complex, they will be adjacent to each other and form an amplifiable DNA sequence through ligation. Combining the specificity of enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and sensitivity of polymerase chain reaction (PCR), PLA transforms the detection of protein into the detection of DNA nucleic acid sequence. Therefore, as an ultrasensitive protein assay, PLA has great potential for quantification, localization of protein, and clinical diagnostics. In this review, we summarize the basic principles of PLA and its applications in pathogen detection.