Antibodies2014, 3(4), 272-288; doi:10.3390/antib3040272 - published 28 October 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Clostridium difficile infection has emerged as a growing worldwide health problem. The colitis of Clostridium difficile infection results from the synergistic action of C. difficile secreted toxins A and B upon the colon mucosa. A human monoclonal IgG anti-toxin has demonstrated the ability in combination therapy to reduce mortality in C. difficile challenged hamsters. This antibody is currently in a clinical trial for the treatment of human Clostridium difficile infection. More than one group of investigators has considered using polyclonal bovine colostral antibodies to toxins A and B as an oral passive immunization. A significant proportion of the healthy human population possesses polyclonal antibodies to the Clostridium difficile toxins. We have demonstrated that polyclonal IgA derived from the pooled plasma of healthy donors possesses specificity to toxins A and B and can neutralize these toxins in a cell-based assay. This suggests that secretory IgA prepared from such pooled plasma IgA may be able to be used as an oral treatment for Clostridium difficile infection.
Antibodies2014, 3(3), 253-271; doi:10.3390/antib3030253 - published 29 August 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Reduced culture temperature is an increasingly popular practice to improve recombinant protein yields in CHO cells. Recent studies have attributed the enhancement of protein titers at sub-physiological temperatures to increased mRNA levels as well as extended stationary phase. We observed that reducing the culture temperature arrested cell growth, prolonged viability, and increased cell size. However, the reduced culture temperature had a differential effect on protein and mRNA expression of closely related antibody mutants from stable cell lines. The highly expressing mutant (Ala) exhibited similar or decreased specific productivity and decreased volumetric productivity over the culture lifetime at 32 °C compared to 37 °C. In contrast, the specific and volumetric productivity of the poorly expressing mutant (Gly) was enhanced at the lower culture temperature. The difference in specific productivity was reflected in the amounts of heavy- and light-chain mRNA. Analysis of the secondary and tertiary configurations of the purified antibodies by circular dichroism revealed fundamental structural differences imposed by the Ala to Gly mutation as well as reduced culture temperature. We propose that the effect of reduced culture temperature on expression is protein-dependent; protein folding fidelity and assembly is improved at lower temperatures, enhancing the expression of proteins that have a propensity to misfold.
Abstract: Antibodies, owing to their capability to bind specifically to a target molecule, have been and will continue to be applied in various areas, including research, diagnosis and therapy. In particular, antibody fragments, which are size-reduced antibodies comprising functional variable domains, are suited for production in bacteria. They also are useful in applications requiring intracellular delivery and for further engineering toward molecules possessing multiple custom functions. An expression system based on Brevibacillus is characterized by high efficiency and simple genetic recombination for secretory production. The Brevibacillus expression system has been successfully utilized for the efficient production of antibody fragments, e.g., scFvs (single-chain antibody fragments) comprising heavy-chain and light-chain variable domains, linked by a spacer sequence. Expression in fusion with a Halobacterium-derived secretory protein was shown to confer enhanced productivity. In the case of Fabs, productivity as high as 100 mg/L was accomplished in a simple system, i.e., shake flask cultures. The Brevibacillus expression system offers several advantages, shared by other bacterial systems, such as E. coli, in particular, for the ease in genetic engineering and culture production.
Abstract: Refolding is one of the production technologies for pharmaceutical grade antibody fragments. Detergents and denaturants are primarily used to solubilize the insoluble proteins. The solubilized and denatured proteins are refolded by reducing the concentration of the denaturants or detergents. Several refolding technologies have been used for antibody fragments, comprising dilution, dialysis, solid phase solvent exchange and size exclusion chromatography, as reviewed here. Aggregation suppressor or folding-assisting agents, including arginine hydrochloride, ionic liquids and detergents or denaturants at low concentrations, are included in the refolding solvent to enhance refolding yield.
Abstract: Ricin is a potent glycoprotein toxin that is structurally composed of two subunits joined via a disulfide bond: a ~30 kDa subunit A (RTA) and a ~32 kDa subunit B (RTB).There are fears of ricin being used as a weapon for warfare and terrorism and, as such, there is an increasing need for the development of immunodiagnostic reagents targeted towards this toxin. This article describes the production and characterization of a panel of six ricin-specific monoclonal IgG antibodies (mAbs), previously selected based upon their ability to inhibit ricin-mediated killing of cultured cells. Subsequent epitope binding analysis using the surface plasmon resonance (SPR) array biosensor (ProteOn XPR36) indicated three distinct, non-competitive binding epitopes (“bins”). The association (ka) and dissociation (kd) rate constants and binding affinities (KD) of each of the mAbs to ricin were also determined by SPR using Biacore T100 instrument. Affinities (KD) ranged from 0.1 nM to 9 nM. We present the coding sequences of the variable domains of the six mAbs, the expression, kinetic and cytotoxicity assays for two recombinant Fab (rFab) fragments and demonstrate a rFab affinity improvement by chain-shuffling. Together, these antibodies and constituent rFabs represent a panel of reagents for high-affinity recognition of ricin with potential national security biosensor applications.
Abstract: Some bovine antibodies across all classes are unique, such as the CDR3 of the variable heavy-domain (VH CDR3), which is exceptionally long (up to 66 amino acids), unlike most conventional antibodies where the VH CDR3 loops range from 10 to 25 amino acids. The exceptionally long VH CDR3 is encoded by unusually long germline IGHD genes together with insertion of novel “a” nucleotide rich conserved short nucleotide sequence (CSNS) specifically at the IGH V-D junction. Such an exceptionally long VH CDR3 confers unique “knob and stalk” structural architecture where the knob, formed by intra-VH CDR3 disulfide bridges, is separated by 20 Å solvent exposed stalk composed of anti-parallel beta strands. The substitution of the knob with cytokines, such as, erythropoietin and granulocyte colony stimulating factor 3 (granulocyte colony stimulating factor), results in expression of functional fusion proteins with enhanced pharmacokinetics. The beta stranded stalk can be substituted with other rigid structures, for example, repeat alpha helices to form coiled-coil that mimics the beta-stranded stalk and, thus, opens opportunities for insertion of this structure in the CDRs of antibodies across species. Given the versatility of such a structural platform in bovine antibody VH CDR3, it provides the opportunity for the development of new generation of diagnostics, therapeutics, vaccines and immunomodulating drugs.