Electrophoresis, Vol.42, No.6, 793-799, 2021
BirA*-protein A fusion protein based BioEnhancer amplifies western blot immunosignal
Western blot (protein immunoblot) is a widely used analytical technique in molecular biology. Utilizing the specific recognizing primary antibody, proteins immobilized on various matrix are investigated by subsequent visualization steps, for example, by the horse radish peroxidase conjugated secondary antibody incubation. Methods to improve the sensitivity in protein identification or quantification are appreciated by biochemists. Herein, we report a new strategy to amplify Western blot signals by constructing a probe with proximal labeling and IgG targeting abilities. The R118G mutation attenuated the biotin-AMP binding affinity of the bacterial biotin ligase BirA*, offering a proximity-dependent labeling ability, which could be used as a signal amplifier. We built a BirA*-protein A fusion protein (BioEnhancer) that specifically binds to IgG and adds biotin tags to its proximal amine groups, enhancing the immunosignal of target proteins. In our experiments, the BioEnhancer system amplified the immunosignal by tenfold compared to the standard western blot. Additionally, our strategy could couple with other signal enhancement methods to further increase the western blot sensitivity.