Optimizing B Cell Epitope-Based Autoantibody Detection In Cancer Patients

Tech ID: 29627 / UC Case 2017-773-0


UCLA researchers from the Department of Urology have invented a new approach to optimize detection of autoantibody response using Luminex microbead-based multiplex assay. This approach bypasses the difficult process of purifying whole proteins by using select combinations of short B-cell epitopes.


Autoantibody (AutoAb) response is an immune response triggered by antibodies produced by a patient’s own immune system against the body’s own proteins. Recent success in immune check-point inhibitor therapies for cancers have made AutoAb emerging cancer biomarkers of interests. Since there is a great variety of tumor-associated antigens (TAA) in a patient, new technologies such as Luminex microbead-based multiplex assay have been developed to measure AutoAb response against a wide panel of antigens for cancer and other diseases. It is very difficult, however, for most facilities to purify and conjugate a large panel of recombinant proteins to microbeads in order to set up assays such as Luminex.


A new approach to optimize AutoAb detection using Luminex assay has been developed to bypass the labor and resource intensive process of purifying and conjugating whole proteins to microbeads. By conjugating a mixture of select B-cell epitopes of proteins of interest to the microbeads, the Zeng lab showed improved sensitivities and specificities in AutoAb detection. Selected B-cell epitopes that include both dominant and less dominant epitopes are the most effective. This new approach is more sensitive compared to conventional ELISA assays and more efficient than western blots. It allows for detection of multiple AutoAb in one assay and has the flexibility of incorporating diverse and new biomarker epitopes.


Detecting AutoAb for:

  • Cancers 
  • Autoimmune diseases 
  • Infectious diseases 
  • Transplantations



  • Flexible combination of different B-cell epitopes 
  • Less labor intensive 
  • Less resource intensive 
  • Improved specificity 
  • Improved sensitivity 
  • Applicable to many diseases

Patent Status

Country Type Number Dated Case
Patent Cooperation Treaty Published Application WO2018191645 10/18/2018 2017-773

Additional Patent Pending


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  • Zeng, Gang

Other Information


Tumor-associated antigen, autoantibody, biomarker, immune monitoring, B cell epitope, multiplex assay

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