Publications by authors named "Gail Whiting"

9 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Quantitation of thrombin-activatable fibrinolysis inhibitor in human plasma by isotope dilution mass spectrometry.

Anal Biochem 2021 Oct 10:114413. Epub 2021 Oct 10.

National Institute for Biological Standards and Control, South Mimms, Potters Bar, EN6 3QG, UK. Electronic address:

Measurement of Thrombin-activatable fibrinolysis inhibitor (TAFI) in human plasma is dependent on reproducible assays. To date, standards for measuring TAFI are frequently calibrated relative to pooled normal human plasma and arbitrarily assigned a potency of 100% TAFI, despite variation in TAFI concentrations between plasma pools. Alternatively, TAFI calibrators can be assigned a value in SI units but the approach used for value assignment is not consistent and furthermore, if purified TAFI is used to determine TAFI concentration in plasma, may be adversely affected by matrix effects. A TAFI plasma standard in mass units with traceability to the SI unit of mass is desirable. We report here the establishment of a quantitative mass spectrometry method for TAFI in plasma. Traceability is obtained by reference to calibrators that consist of blank plasma spiked with a defined amount of purified TAFI, value assigned by amino acid analysis. The calibrators are run alongside the samples, using the same preparation steps and conditions; an acetonitrile assisted tryptic digestion and multi-dimensional liquid chromatography (LC) separation followed by SRM-MS analysis. We measured the TAFI quantitatively in human plasma with reproducibility, reliability and precision, and demonstrated the applicability of this approach for value assigning a common reference standard.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ab.2021.114413DOI Listing
October 2021

Measurement of surface protein antigens, PorA and PorB, in Bexsero vaccine using quantitative mass spectrometry.

Vaccine 2020 02 12;38(6):1431-1435. Epub 2019 Dec 12.

National Institute for Biological Standards and Control (NIBSC), Blanche Lane, South Mimms, Potters Bar, Hertfordshire EN6 3QG, United Kingdom.

Bexsero is a multivalent vaccine containing outer membrane vesicles (OMV) derived from Neisseria meningitidis group B strain NZ98/254 and three recombinant meningococcal proteins, Neisserial adhesin A, Heparin binding antigen and factor H binding protein. OMV production relies on the growth of large-scale cultures of N. meningitidis under controlled conditions. Changes to environmental factors, such as temperature, pH, nutrient availability and trace elements, can impact the growth rate of the meningococcus. Furthermore outer membrane expression levels vary in response to the environmental milieu, thus any changes in environmental conditions can result in changes in OMV protein content. This makes consistent production of OMVs challenging and the ability to measure the protein content of the final product is desirable to ensure product quality. The aim of this work was to develop a mass spectrometry (MS) method for measuring the porin proteins and to evaluate this approach for assessing the batch consistency of Bexsero vaccine. Using isotope dilution MS, we measured the PorA and PorB content in 75 lots of Bexsero vaccine. PorA ranged from 4.0 to 5.95 μg/dose with an average of 4.8 μg/dose. PorB ranged from 5.4 to 8.7 μg/dose with an average of 6.5 μg/dose. This is the first description of the quantitative characterisation of adjuvanted Bexsero vaccine drug product at the final stage of the production process, once the aluminium adjuvanted vaccine has been packaged into syringes, to assess manufacturing consistency. The significance of our findings to quality control in the future is discussed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.vaccine.2019.11.082DOI Listing
February 2020

Typing complex meningococcal vaccines to understand diversity and population structure of key vaccine antigens.

Wellcome Open Res 2018 19;3:151. Epub 2019 Mar 19.

Department of Zoology, University of Oxford, Oxford, OX1 3SY, UK.

Protein-conjugate capsular polysaccharide vaccines can potentially control invasive meningococcal disease (IMD) caused by five (A, C, W, X, Y) of the six IMD-associated serogroups.  Concerns raised by immunological similarity of the serogroup B capsule to human neural cell carbohydrates, meant that 'serogroup B substitute' vaccines target more variable subcapsular protein antigens.  A successful approach using outer membrane vesicles (OMVs) as major vaccine components had limited strain coverage. In 4CMenB (Bexsero ), recombinant proteins have been added to ameliorate this problem.   Scalable, portable, genomic techniques were used to investigate the Bexsero OMV protein diversity in meningococcal populations. Shotgun proteomics identified 461 proteins in the OMV, defining a complex proteome. Amino acid sequences for the 24 proteins most likely to be involved in cross-protective immune responses were catalogued within the PubMLST.org/neisseria database using a novel OMV peptide Typing (OMVT) scheme. Among these proteins there was variation in the extent of diversity and association with meningococcal lineages, identified as clonal complexes (ccs), ranging from the most conserved peptides (FbpA, NEISp0578, and putative periplasmic protein, NEISp1063) to the most diverse (TbpA, NEISp1690).  There were 1752 unique OMVTs identified amongst 2492/3506 isolates examined by whole-genome sequencing (WGS). These OMVTs were grouped into clusters (sharing ≥18 identical OMVT peptides), with 45.3% of isolates assigned to one of 27 OMVT clusters. OMVTs and OMVT clusters were strongly associated with cc, genogroup, and Bexsero antigen variants, demonstrating that combinations of OMV proteins exist in discrete, non-overlapping combinations associated with genogroup and Bexsero Antigen Sequence Type. This highly structured population of IMD-associated meningococci is consistent with strain structure models invoking host immune and/or metabolic selection. The OMVT scheme facilitates region-specific WGS investigation of meningococcal diversity and is an open-access, portable tool with applications for vaccine development, especially in the choice of antigen combinations, assessment and implementation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.12688/wellcomeopenres.14859.2DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6338130PMC
March 2019

Proteomic Analysis Reveals Temporal Changes in Protein Expression in Human Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell-Derived Cardiomyocytes In Vitro.

Stem Cells Dev 2019 05 20;28(9):565-578. Epub 2019 Mar 20.

1 Myocardial Function, National Heart and Lung Institute, Imperial College, London, United Kingdom.

Human induced pluripotent stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes (hiPSC-CM) hold great promise for regenerative medicine and in vitro screening. Despite displaying key cardiomyocyte phenotypic characteristics, they more closely resemble fetal/neonatal cardiomyocytes, and further characterization is necessary. By combining the use of tandem mass tags to label cell lysates, followed by multiplexing, we have determined the effects of short-term (30 day) in vitro culture on hiPSC-CM protein expression. We found that hiPSC-CM exhibit temporal changes in global protein expression; alterations in protein expression were pronounced during the first 2 weeks following thaw and dominated by reductions in proteins associated with protein synthesis and ubiquitination. Between 2 and 4 weeks, proceeding thaw alterations in protein expression were dominated by metabolic pathways, indicating a potential temporal metabolic shift from glycolysis toward oxidative phosphorylation. Time-dependent changes in proteins associated with cardiomyocyte contraction, excitation-contraction coupling, and metabolism were detected. While some were associated with expected functional outcomes in terms of morphology or electrophysiology, others such as metabolism did not produce the anticipated maturation of hiPSC-CM. In several cases, a predicted outcome was not clear because of the concerted changes in both stimulatory and inhibitory pathways. Nevertheless, clear development of hiPSC-CM over this time period was evident.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1089/scd.2018.0210DOI Listing
May 2019

A Novel, Multiple-Antigen Pneumococcal Vaccine Protects against Lethal Challenge.

Infect Immun 2019 03 21;87(3). Epub 2019 Feb 21.

Centre for Inflammation and Tissue Repair, UCL Respiratory, Division of Medicine, University College Medical School Rayne Institute, London, United Kingdom

Current vaccination against uses vaccines based on capsular polysaccharides from selected serotypes and has led to nonvaccine serotype replacement disease. We have investigated an alternative serotype-independent approach, using multiple-antigen vaccines (MAV) prepared from TIGR4 lysates enriched for surface proteins by a chromatography step after culture under conditions that induce expression of heat shock proteins (Hsp; thought to be immune adjuvants). Proteomics and immunoblot analyses demonstrated that, compared to standard bacterial lysates, MAV was enriched with Hsps and contained several recognized protective protein antigens, including pneumococcal surface protein A (PspA) and pneumolysin (Ply). Vaccination of rodents with MAV induced robust antibody responses to multiple serotypes, including nonpneumococcal conjugate vaccine serotypes. Homologous and heterologous strains of were opsonized after incubation in sera from vaccinated rodents. In mouse models, active vaccination with MAV significantly protected against pneumonia, while passive transfer of rabbit serum from MAV-vaccinated rabbits significantly protected against sepsis caused by both homologous and heterologous strains. Direct comparison of MAV preparations made with or without the heat shock step showed no clear differences in protein antigen content and antigenicity, suggesting that the chromatography step rather than Hsp induction improved MAV antigenicity. Overall, these data suggest that the MAV approach may provide serotype-independent protection against .
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/IAI.00846-18DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6386546PMC
March 2019

Quantification of Müllerian Inhibiting Substance/Anti-Müllerian Hormone polypeptide by isotope dilution mass spectrometry.

Anal Biochem 2018 11 6;560:50-55. Epub 2018 May 6.

National Institute for Biological Standards and Control, South Mimms, Potters Bar, EN6 3QG, UK.

Measurement of serum concentrations of Müllerian inhibiting substance (MIS), also known as anti-Müllerian Hormone (AMH) by immunoassay is gaining clinical acceptance and widespread use for the diagnosis of ovarian conditions and for prediction of the response to ovarian stimulation protocols as part of assisted reproductive therapies. Provision of an International Standard to harmonize immunoassay methods is required. It is desirable for the content of a future International Standard to be assigned in mass units for consistency with the units reported by current methods. Isotope dilution mass spectrometry (IDMS), a physicochemical method with traceability to the SI (Système International d'Unités) unit of mass, is a candidate approach to provide orthogonal data to support this mass assignment. Here, we report on the development of an IDMS method for quantitation of AMH using three peptides from different regions of the AMH monomer as surrogates for the measurement of AMH. We show the sensitivity and linearity of the standard peptides and demonstrate the reproducibility and consistency of the measurement amongst the three peptides for determining the AMH content in buffered preparations and in trial preparations of recombinant AMH, lyophilised in the presence of an excess of bovine casein.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ab.2018.05.006DOI Listing
November 2018

Identification of peptide sequences as a measure of Anthrax vaccine stability during storage.

Hum Vaccin Immunother 2014 17;10(6):1669-81. Epub 2014 Mar 17.

Division of Bacteriology; National Institute for Biological Standards and Control; Hertfordshire, UK.

The UK anthrax vaccine is an alum precipitate of a sterile filtrate of Bacillus anthracis Sterne culture (AVP). An increase in shelf life of AVP from 3 to 5 years prompted us to investigate the in vivo potency and the antigen content of 12 batches with a shelf life of 6.4 to 9.9 years and one bulk with a shelf life of 23.8 years. All batches, except for a 9.4-year-old batch, passed the potency test. Mass spectrometry (MS) and in-gel difference 2-dimensional gel electrophoresis (DIGE) were used to examine antigens of the pellet and supernatant of AVP. The pellet contained proteins with a MW in excess of 15 kDa. DIGE of desorbed proteins from the pellet revealed that with aging, 19 spots showed a significant change in size or intensity, a sign of protein degradation. MS identified 21 proteins including protective antigen (PA), enolase, lethal factor (LF), nucleoside diphosphate kinase, edema factor, and S-layer proteins. Fifteen proteins were detected for the first time including metabolic enzymes, iron binding proteins, and manganese dependent superoxide dismutase (MnSOD). The supernatant contained131 peptide sequences. Peptides representing septum formation inhibitor protein and repeat domain protein were most abundant. Five proteins were shared with the pellet: 2,3,4,5-tetrahydropyridine-6-dicarboxylate N-succinyltransferase, enolase, LF, MnSOD, and PA. The number of peptide sequences increased with age. Peptides from PA and LF appeared once batches exceeded their shelf life by 2 and 4 years, respectively. In conclusion, changes in antigen content resulting from decay or desorption only had a limited effect on in vivo potency of AVP. The presence of PA and LF peptides in the supernatant can inform on the age and stability of AVP.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.4161/hv.28443DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4185962PMC
June 2015

Development of an in vitro potency assay for anti-anthrax lethal toxin neutralizing antibodies.

Toxins (Basel) 2012 01 19;4(1):28-41. Epub 2012 Jan 19.

Division of Bacteriology, National Institute of Biological Standards and Control, HPA, Blanche Lane, Potters Bar, Hertfordshire EN6 3QG, UK.

Lethal toxin (LT) of Bacillus anthracis reduces the production of a number of inflammatory mediators, including transcription factors, chemokines and cytokines in various human cell lines, leading to down-regulation of the host inflammatory response. Previously we showed that the reduction of interleukin-8 (IL-8) is a sensitive marker of LT-mediated intoxication in human neutrophil-like NB-4 cells and that IL-8 levels are restored to normality when therapeutic monoclonal antibodies (mAb) with toxin-neutralising (TN) activity are added. We used this information to develop cell-based assays that examine the effects of TN therapeutic mAbs designed to treat LT intoxication and here we extend these findings. We present an in vitro assay based on human endothelial cell line HUVEC jr2, which measures the TN activity of therapeutic anti-LT mAbs using IL-8 as a marker for intoxication. HUVEC jr2 cells have the advantage over NB-4 cells that they are adherent, do not require a differentiation step and can be used in a microtitre plate format and therefore can facilitate high throughput analysis. This human cell-based assay provides a valid alternative to the mouse macrophage assay as it is a more biologically relevant model of the effects of toxin-neutralising antibodies in human infection.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/toxins4010028DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3277096PMC
January 2012

Proteomic analysis of the response of the human neutrophil-like cell line NB-4 after exposure to anthrax lethal toxin.

Proteomics Clin Appl 2007 Oct 11;1(10):1266-79. Epub 2007 Sep 11.

Laboratory of Molecular Structure, National Institute for Biological Standards and Control, Potters Bar, UK.

We used 2-D DIGE to analyze the early response of NB-4 cells, a human promyelotic leukemia cell line, exposed to lethal toxin from Bacillus anthracis at the proteome level. After a 2 h exposure, cells were still viable and 43% of spots (n = 1042) showed a significant change in protein level. We identified 59 spots whose expression had changed significantly, and these reflected cytoskeleton damage, mitochondrial lysis and endoplasmic reticulum stress. Actin filament assembly was disrupted as evidenced by an increase in both actin subunits and phosphorylated cofilin, whilst levels of tropomyosin, tropomodulin and actin related protein 2/3 complex subunit decreased. Lower levels of ATP synthase subunits and mitochondrial inner membrane protein were identified as markers of mitochondrial lysis. Levels of various stress response proteins rose and, uniquely, levels of Ca(2+) binding proteins such as translationally controlled tumor protein rose and hippocalcin-like protein 1 decreased. This response may have mitigated effects brought about by mitochondrial lysis and endoplasmic reticulum stress, and delayed or prevented apoptosis in NB-4 cells. These results resemble findings of similar proteomics studies in murine macrophages, although quantitative differences were observed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/prca.200700074DOI Listing
October 2007
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