Fluid protein biomarkers are important tools in clinical research and health care to support diagnosis and to monitor patients. Especially within the field of dementia, novel biomarkers could address the current challenges of providing an early diagnosis and of selecting trial participants. While the great potential of fluid biomarkers is recognized, their implementation in routine clinical use has been slow. One major obstacle is the often unsuccessful translation of biomarker candidates from explorative high-throughput techniques to sensitive antibody-based immunoassays. In this review, we propose the incorporation of bioinformatics into the workflow of novel immunoassay development to overcome this bottleneck and thus facilitate the development of novel biomarkers towards clinical laboratory practice. Due to the rapid progress within the field of bioinformatics many freely available and easy-to-use tools and data resources exist which can aid the researcher at various stages. Current prediction methods and databases can support the selection of suitable biomarker candidates, as well as the choice of appropriate commercial affinity reagents. Additionally, we examine methods that can determine or predict the epitope - an antibody’s binding region on its antigen - and can help to make an informed choice on the immunogenic peptide used for novel antibody production. Selected use cases for biomarker candidates help illustrate the application and interpretation of the introduced tools.

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ADx NeuroSciences, Ghent, Belgium
Biomarker Research
Centrum Wiskunde & Informatica, Amsterdam (CWI), The Netherlands

Waury, K., Willemse, E., Vanmechelen, E., Zetterberg, H., Teunissen, C., & Abeln, S. (2022). Bioinformatics tools and data resources for assay development of fluid protein biomarkers. Biomarker Research, 10(1), 83:1–83:21. doi:10.1186/s40364-022-00425-w