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Novel Bispecific Aptamer Enhances Immune Cytotoxicity Against MUC1-Positive Tumor Cells by MUC1-CD16 Dual Targeting

Institute of Basic Medical Sciences, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences & Peking Union Medical College, Beijing 100005, China
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Molecules 2019, 24(3), 478;
Received: 9 January 2019 / Revised: 25 January 2019 / Accepted: 28 January 2019 / Published: 29 January 2019
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A promising strategy in cancer immunotherapy is the employment of a bispecific agent that can bind with both tumor markers and immunocytes for recruitment of lymphocytes to tumor sites and enhancement of anticancer immune reactions. Mucin1 (MUC1) is a tumor marker overexpressed in almost all adenocarcinomas, making it a potentially important therapeutic target. CD16 is expressed in several types of immunocytes, including NK cells, γδ-T cells, monocytes, and macrophages. In this study, we constructed the first bispecific aptamer (BBiApt) targeting both MUC1 and CD16. This aptamer consisted of two MUC1 aptamers and two CD16 aptamers linked together by three 60 nt DNA spacers. Compared with monovalent MUC1 or CD16 aptamers, BBiApt showed more potent avidity to both MUC1-positive tumor cells and CD16-positive immunocytes. Competition experiments indicated that BBiApt and monovalent aptamers bound to the same sites on the target cells. Moreover, BBiApt recruited more CD16-positive immunocytes around MUC1-positive tumor cells and enhanced the immune cytotoxicity against the tumor cells in vitro. The results suggest that, apart from bispecific antibodies, bispecific aptamers may also potentially serve as a novel strategy for targeted enhancement of antitumor immune reactions against MUC1-expressing malignancies. View Full-Text
Keywords: aptamer; bispecific; MUC1; CD16; immunotherapy aptamer; bispecific; MUC1; CD16; immunotherapy

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Li, Z.; Hu, Y.; An, Y.; Duan, J.; Li, X.; Yang, X.-D. Novel Bispecific Aptamer Enhances Immune Cytotoxicity Against MUC1-Positive Tumor Cells by MUC1-CD16 Dual Targeting. Molecules 2019, 24, 478.

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