High-throughput immunoassay for the biochemical diagnosis of Friedreich ataxia in dried blood spots and whole blood.

Devin Oglesbee, Charles Kroll, Oleksandr Gakh, Eric C. Deutsch, David R. Lynch, Ralitza Gavrilova, Silvia Tortorelli, Kimiyo Raymond, Dimitar Gavrilov, Piero Rinaldo, Dietrich Matern, Grazia Isaya

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Friedreich ataxia (FRDA) is caused by reduced frataxin (FXN) concentrations. A clinical diagnosis is typically confirmed by DNA-based assays for GAA-repeat expansions or mutations in the FXN (frataxin) gene; however, these assays are not applicable to therapeutic monitoring and population screening. To facilitate the diagnosis and monitoring of FRDA patients, we developed an immunoassay for measuring FXN. Antibody pairs were used to capture FXN and an internal control protein, ceruloplasmin (CP), in 15 μL of whole blood (WB) or one 3-mm punch of a dried blood spot (DBS). Samples were assayed on a Luminex LX200 analyzer and validated according to standard criteria. The mean recovery of FXN from WB and DBS samples was 99%. Intraassay and interassay imprecision (CV) values were 4.9%-13% and 9.8%-16%, respectively. The FXN limit of detection was 0.07 ng/mL, and the reportable range of concentrations was 2-200 ng/mL. Reference adult and pediatric FXN concentrations ranged from 15 to 82 ng/mL (median, 33 ng/mL) for DBS and WB. The FXN concentration range was 12-22 ng/mL (median, 15 ng/mL) for FRDA carriers and 1-26 ng/mL (median 5 ng/mL) for FRDA patients. Measurement of the FXN/CP ratio increased the ability to distinguish between patients, carriers, and the reference population. This assay is applicable to the diagnosis and therapeutic monitoring of FRDA. This assay can measure FXN and the control protein CP in both WB and DBS specimens with minimal sample requirements, creating the potential for high-throughput population screening of FRDA.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1461-1469
Number of pages9
JournalClinical chemistry
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Biochemistry, medical


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