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Open AccessArticle

In Vivo Glycan Engineering via the Mannosidase I Inhibitor (Kifunensine) Improves Efficacy of Rituximab Manufactured in Nicotiana benthamiana Plants

1
iBio CDMO, LLC, 8800 Health Science Center Parkway, Bryan, TX 77807, USA
2
Global HealthShare® Initiative, University of California at Davis, Davis, CA 95616, USA
3
Department of Chemical Engineering, University of California at Davis, Davis, CA 95616, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(1), 194; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20010194
Received: 15 November 2018 / Revised: 20 December 2018 / Accepted: 2 January 2019 / Published: 7 January 2019
(This article belongs to the Section Molecular Plant Sciences)
N-glycosylation has been shown to affect the pharmacokinetic properties of several classes of biologics, including monoclonal antibodies, blood factors, and lysosomal enzymes. In the last two decades, N-glycan engineering has been employed to achieve a N-glycosylation profile that is either more consistent or aligned with a specific improved activity (i.e., effector function or serum half-life). In particular, attention has focused on engineering processes in vivo or in vitro to alter the structure of the N-glycosylation of the Fc region of anti-cancer monoclonal antibodies in order to increase antibody-dependent cell-mediated cytotoxicity (ADCC). Here, we applied the mannosidase I inhibitor kifunensine to the Nicotiana benthamiana transient expression platform to produce an afucosylated anti-CD20 antibody (rituximab). We determined the optimal concentration of kifunensine used in the infiltration solution, 0.375 µM, which was sufficient to produce exclusively oligomannose glycoforms, at a concentration 14 times lower than previously published levels. The resulting afucosylated rituximab revealed a 14-fold increase in ADCC activity targeting the lymphoma cell line Wil2-S when compared with rituximab produced in the absence of kifunensine. When applied to the cost-effective and scalable N. benthamiana transient expression platform, the use of kifunensine allows simple in-process glycan engineering without the need for transgenic hosts. View Full-Text
Keywords: ADCC; glycosylation; kifunensine; plant made pharmaceuticals; monoclonal antibody ADCC; glycosylation; kifunensine; plant made pharmaceuticals; monoclonal antibody
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Kommineni, V.; Markert, M.; Ren, Z.; Palle, S.; Carrillo, B.; Deng, J.; Tejeda, A.; Nandi, S.; McDonald, K.A.; Marcel, S.; Holtz, B. In Vivo Glycan Engineering via the Mannosidase I Inhibitor (Kifunensine) Improves Efficacy of Rituximab Manufactured in Nicotiana benthamiana Plants. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20, 194.

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