Acetylcholinesterase (AChE) and butyrylcholinesterase (BChE) are irreversibly inhibited by organophosphorus pesticides through formation of a covalent bond with the active site serine. Proteins that have no active site serine, for example albumin, are covalently modified on tyrosine and lysine. Chronic illness from pesticide exposure is not explained by inhibition of AChE and BChE. Our goal was to produce a monoclonal antibody that recognizes proteins diethoxyphosphorylated on tyrosine. Diethoxyphosphate-tyrosine adducts for 13 peptides were synthesized. The diethoxyphosphorylated (OP) peptides cross-linked to four different carrier proteins were used to immunize, boost, and screen mice. Monoclonal antibodies were produced with hybridoma technology. Monoclonal antibody depY was purified and characterized by ELISA, western blotting, Biacore, and Octet technology to determine binding affinity and binding specificity. DepY recognized diethoxyphosphotyrosine independent of the amino acid sequence around the modified tyrosine and independent of the identity of the carrier protein or peptide. It had an IC50 of 3 × 10-9 M in a competition assay with OP tubulin. Kd values measured by Biacore and OctetRED96 were 10-8 M for OP-peptides and 1 × 10-12 M for OP-proteins. The limit of detection measured on western blots hybridized with 0.14 μg/mL of depY was 0.025 μg of human albumin conjugated to YGGFL-OP. DepY was specific for diethoxyphosphotyrosine (chlorpyrifos oxon adduct) as it failed to recognize diethoxyphospholysine, phosphoserine, phosphotyrosine, phosphothreonine, dimethoxyphosphotyrosine (dichlorvos adduct), dimethoxyphosphoserine, monomethoxyphosphotyrosine (aged dichlorvos adduct), and cresylphosphoserine. In conclusion, a monoclonal antibody that specifically recognizes diethoxyphosphotyrosine adducts has been developed. The depY monoclonal antibody could be useful for identifying new biomarkers of OP exposure.
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