Abstract: The DOCK-AND-LOCKTM (DNLTM) method provides a modular approach to develop multivalent, multifunctional complexes of defined structures, of which bispecific hexavalent antibodies (bsHexAbs) are prominent examples with potential applications in targeted therapy for malignant, autoimmune, and infectious diseases. Currently, bsHexAbs are constructed by derivatizing a divalent IgG, at the carboxyl termini of either the heavy chain (the CH3-format) or the light chain (the Ck-format), to contain two stabilized dimers of Fab having a different specificity from the IgG. In this review, we briefly outline the features of the DNLTM method and describe key aspects of bsHexAbs examined with diverse preclinical studies, which include binding affinity to target cells, induction of signaling pathways, effector functions, serum stability, pharmacokinetics, and antitumor activity in human tumor xenograft models. Our findings favor the selection of the CK- over the CH3-format for further exploration of bsHexAbs in clinical trials.
Abstract: Using genetic engineering a humanized Fab fragment with specificity for CD19 was fused to a disulfide-stabilized single-chain antibody (dsFv) recognizing CD5. This format should show reduced immunogenicity and improved tissue penetration. The specificity of bsAb FabCD19xdsFvCD5 binding to target cells was verified by flow cytometry on B and T lymphoma cell lines. Binding affinities of both arms were compared with the bivalent parental antibodies against CD19 and CD5 by binding competition assay. Redirected lysis of B lymphoma cells by preactivated PBMC from healthy donors was demonstrated in a chromium-release assay. A clear dose-response relationship could be established in the range from 1 ng/mL to 10 mg/mL bsAb. To evaluate the in vivo efficacy of bsAb FabCD19xdsFvCD5, NOD/SCID mice were intravenously injected with luciferase transfected Raji lymphoma cells together with pre-activated PBMC. Mice received five injections of therapeutic bsAb or control antibodies. While in the control groups all mice died within 40 to 50 days, 40% of bsAb treated animals survived longer than 60 days.
Abstract: We previously demonstrated that the Fc receptor γ-chain Y58(C-terminal tyrosine) is highly susceptible to dephosphorylation; a mechanism that controls the extent of Syk activation and the downstream signaling in mast cells. Here, we explored the importance of the γ-chain Y47 (N-terminal tyrosine) in mast cell signaling. We generated a highly sensitive and versatile phospho-specific antibody that recognized the phosphorylated Y47 in various species. Using this antibody, we found that mutation of the FcεRIβ Y219 to phenylalanine caused a loss in the phosphorylation of the γ-chain Y47, consistent with the previously described role of Y219 in Lyn association with FcεRIβ and subsequent FcεRIγ phosphorylation. These conditions also diminished the tyrosine phosphorylation of Syk and LAT1 but, surprisingly, not the phosphorylation of Akt at T308. Mutation of Y47 or Y58 of the γ-chain also caused a marked inhibition of Syk and LAT1 phosphorylation, but only the latter mutant showed a reduction in Akt phosphorylation. These findings show that the full phosphorylation of Syk and LAT1 requires the FcεRIβ Y219 and both Y47 and Y58 of the γ-chain. However, T308 phosphorylation of Akt is largely independent of FcεRIγ Y47 phosphorylation and of the Lyn-binding site (Y219) on the FcεRIβ.
Abstract: Many human diseases are caused by mutant or abnormal protein functions that are largely confined to the inside of cells, rather than being displayed on the abnormal cell surface. Furthermore, many of the functional consequences of aberrant proteins, such as in cancer cells, are due to protein–protein interactions (PPIs). Developing reagents that can specifically interfere with PPI is an important goal for both therapeutic use and as reagents to interrogate the functional importance of PPI. Antibody fragments can be used for inhibiting PPI. Our recent technology development has provided a set of simple protocols that allow development of single antibody variable (V) region domains that can function inside the reducing environment of the cell. The heavy chain variable region (VH) segments mainly used in this technology are based on a designer framework that folds inside cells without the need for the intra-chain disulphide bond and can be used as drug surrogates to determine on-target effects (target validation) and as templates for small molecule drug development. In this review, we discuss our work on single domains as intracellular antibodies and where this work might in the future.
Abstract: Photodynamic therapy (PDT) is a clinically-approved but rather under-exploited treatment modality for cancer and pre-cancerous superficial lesions. It utilises a cold laser or LED to activate a photochemical reaction between a light activated drug (photosensitiser-drug) and oxygen to generate cytotoxic oxygen species. These free radical species damage cellular components leading to cell death. Despite its benefits, the complexity, limited potency and side effects of PDT have led to poor general usage. However, the research area is very active with an increasing understanding of PDT-related cell biology, photophysics and significant progress in molecular targeting of disease. Monoclonal antibody therapy is maturing and the next wave of antibody therapies includes antibody-drug conjugates (ADCs), which promise to be more potent and curable. These developments could lift antibody-directed phototherapy (ADP) to success. ADP promises to increase specificity and potency and improve drug pharmacokinetics, thus delivering better PDT drugs whilst retaining its other benefits. Whole antibody conjugates with first generation ADP-drugs displayed problems with aggregation, poor pharmacokinetics and loss of immuno-reactivity. However, these early ADP-drugs still showed improved selectivity and potency. Improved PS-drug chemistry and a variety of conjugation strategies have led to improved ADP-drugs with retained antibody and PS-drug function. More recently, recombinant antibody fragments have been used to deliver ADP-drugs with superior drug loading, more favourable pharmacokinetics, enhanced potency and target cell selectivity. These improvements offer a promise of better quality PDT drugs.
Abstract: Ricin is a type II ribosome inactivating protein (RIP) isolated from castor beans. Its high toxicity classifies it as a possible biological weapon. On the other hand, ricin linked to specific monoclonal antibodies or used in other conjugates has powerful medical applications. Ricin consists of an A-chain (RTA) that damages ribosomes and inhibits protein synthesis, and a B-chain that plays a role in binding and cellular uptake. A number of recent studies have demonstrated that ricin-induced inhibition of protein synthesis is not the only mechanism responsible for cell death. It turns out that ricin is able to induce apoptosis in different cell lines and multiple organs in animals. However, the molecular link between protein synthesis inhibition and ricin-dependent triggering of apoptotic cell death is unclear. This review describes the intracellular transport of ricin and ricin-based immunotoxins and their mechanism of action in different non-malignant and cancer cell lines. Moreover, various ricin-containing immunotoxins, their composition, medical applications and side-effects will be described and discussed. Understanding the mechanism of action of ricin-based immunotoxins will facilitate construction of effectively acting immunotoxins that can be used in the clinic for cancer treatment.