Recombinantly Expressed Tagged SUrface Protein (RETSUP) assay: a new diagnostic system for the detection of antibodies to platelets

Susanne Weber, Jasmin Birgit Zuzana Arnold, Ulrich Jörg Sachs, Peter Bruno Luppa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Current assays for the detection of (allo)antibodies to platelet antigens are often laborious and widely based on the presence of well-characterized donor platelets. Objectives: To develop an easy-to-perform, sensitive, and specific test for the detection of antibodies against platelet antigens, in particular, glycoprotein (GP) antigens, called “Recombinantly Expressed Tagged SUrface Protein” (RETSUP) assay, which does not require donor platelets. Methods: Twin-Strep-tagged GP complexes were recombinantly expressed in human embryonic kidney 293 cells after stable transfection. These cell lines were used as antigen sources in the RETSUP assay, combining cell-based and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay–based assay procedures. The assay performance was tested with recombinant antibodies, anti–human platelet antigen (HPA) reference plasmas, and anti-HPA patient sera. Results: Human embryonic kidney 293 cell lines stably expressing either Twin-Strep-labeled GPIa/IIa, GPIIb/IIIa, GPIb/IX, or GPIb/IX/V complexes or GPV as well as the distinct HPA-1, HPA-3, and HPA-5 epitopes were successfully generated. Applying the generated GP-expressing cell lines, the developed RETSUP assay proved very sensitive and specific with recombinant antibodies targeting different GPs and human plasma/serum samples. The results of the test were not affected by the GP carrying the Twin-Strep-tag or by using freshly harvested or cryopreserved cells. Conclusion: The RETSUP assay is an easy-to-perform, sensitive, and specific assay for the detection of plasma/serum antibodies to platelet GP, with performance comparable to or better than those of current state-of-the-art assays in antiplatelet antibody diagnostics. Owing to the recombinant nature of the target antigens, it can be easily adapted to detect antibodies in other antibody-mediated diseases.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1187-1201
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Thrombosis and Haemostasis
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2024
Externally publishedYes


  • antibody detection
  • in vitro testing
  • membrane glycoproteins
  • neonatal alloimmune thrombocytopenia
  • platelets


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