PMID: 108033May 1, 1979

Substrate-labeled fluorescent immunoassay for phenytoin in human serum

Clinical Chemistry
R C WongR C Boguslaski


A homogeneous substrate-labeled fluorescent immunoassay has been applied to the measurement of phenytoin concentrations in human serum. We coupled a fluorogenic enzyme substrate, galactosyl-umbelliferone, covalently to a derivative of phenytoin. Under assay conditions, this drug-substrate conjugate was nonfluorescent but became fluorescent upon hydrolysis catalyzed by bacterial beta-galactosidase. When antibody to phenytoin is bound to the drug-substrate conjugate, it is inactive as an enzyme substrate. Addition of phenytoin to competitive-binding reactions relieves the inactivation, and the resulting fluorescence is proportional to the phenytoin concentration. We validated the fluorescent immunoassay by comparing values for phenytoin obtained with this technique to those obtained by gas chromatography and by enzyme immunoassay (EMIT). All three methods correlated well. The major metabolite of phenytoin, 5-(p-hydroxyphenyl)-5-phenylhydantoin, and other drugs at concentrations expected in serum had no effect on the assay. The fluorescent immunoassay is rapid and simple to perform and requires only 2 microL of serum sample per test.

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