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Antibodies, Volume 8, Issue 2 (June 2019)

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Open AccessArticle
Super Potent Bispecific Llama VHH Antibodies Neutralize HIV via a Combination of gp41 and gp120 Epitopes
Antibodies 2019, 8(2), 38; https://doi.org/10.3390/antib8020038
Received: 17 March 2019 / Revised: 19 May 2019 / Accepted: 30 May 2019 / Published: 18 June 2019
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Abstract
Broad and potent neutralizing llama single domain antibodies (VHH) against HIV-1 targeting the CD4 binding site (CD4bs) have previously been isolated upon llama immunization. Here we describe the epitopes of three additional VHH groups selected from phage libraries. The 2E7 group binds to [...] Read more.
Broad and potent neutralizing llama single domain antibodies (VHH) against HIV-1 targeting the CD4 binding site (CD4bs) have previously been isolated upon llama immunization. Here we describe the epitopes of three additional VHH groups selected from phage libraries. The 2E7 group binds to a new linear epitope in the first heptad repeat of gp41 that is only exposed in the fusion-intermediate conformation. The 1B5 group competes with co-receptor binding and the 1F10 group interacts with the crown of the gp120 V3 loop, occluded in native Env. We present biophysical and structural details on the 2E7 interaction with gp41. In order to further increase breadth and potency, we constructed bi-specific VHH. The combination of CD4bs VHH (J3/3E3) with 2E7 group VHH enhanced strain-specific neutralization with potencies up to 1400-fold higher than the mixture of the individual VHHs. Thus, these new bivalent VHH are potent new tools to develop therapeutic approaches or microbicide intervention. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanobody)
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Open AccessArticle
Specificity of Anti-Citrullinated Protein Antibodies in Rheumatoid Arthritis
Antibodies 2019, 8(2), 37; https://doi.org/10.3390/antib8020037
Received: 23 April 2019 / Revised: 28 May 2019 / Accepted: 6 June 2019 / Published: 7 June 2019
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Abstract
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disease of unknown etiology. The majority of individuals with RA are positive for the disease-specific anti-citrullinated protein antibodies (ACPAs). These antibodies are primarily of cross-reactive nature, hence, the true autoantigen to ACPA remains unidentified. In this study, [...] Read more.
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disease of unknown etiology. The majority of individuals with RA are positive for the disease-specific anti-citrullinated protein antibodies (ACPAs). These antibodies are primarily of cross-reactive nature, hence, the true autoantigen to ACPA remains unidentified. In this study, we analyzed the reactivity of RA sera to several post-translationally modified epitopes, in order to further characterize the specific nature of ACPAs by immunoassays. Substituting citrulline with other amino acids, e.g., D-citrulline, homo-citrulline and methyl-arginine illustrated that ACPAs are utmost specific for citrullinated targets. Collectively, these findings support that ACPAs and citrullinated targets are specific for RA, making citrulline-containing peptide targets the most effective assays for detection of ACPAs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Antibody-Based Diagnostics)
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Open AccessReview
Current Advancements in Addressing Key Challenges of Therapeutic Antibody Design, Manufacture, and Formulation
Antibodies 2019, 8(2), 36; https://doi.org/10.3390/antib8020036
Received: 16 April 2019 / Revised: 29 May 2019 / Accepted: 31 May 2019 / Published: 3 June 2019
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Abstract
Therapeutic antibody technology heavily dominates the biologics market and continues to present as a significant industrial interest in developing novel and improved antibody treatment strategies. Many noteworthy advancements in the last decades have propelled the success of antibody development; however, there are still [...] Read more.
Therapeutic antibody technology heavily dominates the biologics market and continues to present as a significant industrial interest in developing novel and improved antibody treatment strategies. Many noteworthy advancements in the last decades have propelled the success of antibody development; however, there are still opportunities for improvement. In considering such interest to develop antibody therapies, this review summarizes the array of challenges and considerations faced in the design, manufacture, and formulation of therapeutic antibodies, such as stability, bioavailability and immunological engagement. We discuss the advancement of technologies that address these challenges, highlighting key antibody engineered formats that have been adapted. Furthermore, we examine the implication of novel formulation technologies such as nanocarrier delivery systems for the potential to formulate for pulmonary delivery. Finally, we comprehensively discuss developments in computational approaches for the strategic design of antibodies with modulated functions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Monoclonal Antibody-Directed Therapy)
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Open AccessArticle
EBNA1 IgM-Based Discrimination Between Rheumatoid Arthritis Patients, Systemic Lupus Erythematosus Patients and Healthy Controls
Antibodies 2019, 8(2), 35; https://doi.org/10.3390/antib8020035
Received: 30 April 2019 / Revised: 24 May 2019 / Accepted: 28 May 2019 / Published: 1 June 2019
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Abstract
Epstein–Barr Virus (EBV) has been associated with development of rheumatic connective tissue diseases like rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) in genetically susceptible individuals. Diagnosis of RA and SLE relies on clinical criteria in combination with the presence of characteristic autoantibodies. [...] Read more.
Epstein–Barr Virus (EBV) has been associated with development of rheumatic connective tissue diseases like rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) in genetically susceptible individuals. Diagnosis of RA and SLE relies on clinical criteria in combination with the presence of characteristic autoantibodies. In addition, antibodies to several EBV antigens have been shown to be elevated in patients with these diseases compared to healthy controls (HC). Here, we elaborated improved enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays for antibodies (IgM, IgA, IgG) to the EBV proteins Epstein-Barr Virus nuclear antigen (EBNA)1 and early antigen diffuse (EAD) in order to determine their potential diagnostic role. We showed that especially EBNA1 IgM distinguished RA from SLE and HCs and also distinguished SLE from HCs. EBNA1 IgA was almost as effective in differentiating RA from SLE and HC, while EAD IgG and IgA were able to discern SLE patients from RA patients and HCs. Collectively, these findings illustrate the potential diagnostic use of antibodies to EBV proteins to diagnose RA and to differentiate SLE from RA. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Antibody-Based Diagnostics)
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Open AccessReview
Investigational Monoclonal Antibodies in the Treatment of Multiple Myeloma: A Systematic Review of Agents under Clinical Development
Antibodies 2019, 8(2), 34; https://doi.org/10.3390/antib8020034
Received: 30 March 2019 / Revised: 12 May 2019 / Accepted: 13 May 2019 / Published: 24 May 2019
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Abstract
Background: Immunotherapy for multiple myeloma (MM) has been the focus in recent years due to its myeloma-specific immune responses. We reviewed the literature on non-Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) to highlight future perspectives. We searched PubMed, EMBASE, Web of [...] Read more.
Background: Immunotherapy for multiple myeloma (MM) has been the focus in recent years due to its myeloma-specific immune responses. We reviewed the literature on non-Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) to highlight future perspectives. We searched PubMed, EMBASE, Web of Science, Cochrane Library and ClinicalTrials.gov to include phase I/II clinical trials. Data from 39 studies (1906 patients) were included. Of all the agents, Isatuximab (Isa, anti-CD38) and F50067 (anti-CXCR4) were the only mAbs to produce encouraging results as monotherapy with overall response rates (ORRs) of 66.7% and 32% respectively. Isa showed activity when used in combination with lenalidomide (Len) and dexamethasone (Dex), producing a clinical benefit rate (CBR) of 83%. Additionally, Isa used in combination with pomalidomide (Pom) and Dex resulted in a CBR of 73%. Indatuximab Ravtansine (anti-CD138 antibody-drug conjugate) produced an ORR of 78% and 79% when used in combination with Len-Dex and Pom-Dex, respectively. Conclusions: Combination therapy using mAbs such as indatuximab, pembrolizumab, lorvotuzumab, siltuximab or dacetuzumab with chemotherapy agents produced better outcomes as compared to monotherapies. Further clinical trials investigating mAbs targeting CD38 used in combination therapy are warranted. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Antibody-Based Therapeutics for Treating Cancer)
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Open AccessReview
Ion Channel Targeting with Antibodies and Antibody Fragments for Cancer Diagnosis
Antibodies 2019, 8(2), 33; https://doi.org/10.3390/antib8020033
Received: 21 March 2019 / Revised: 17 May 2019 / Accepted: 20 May 2019 / Published: 24 May 2019
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Abstract
The antibody era has greatly impacted cancer management in recent decades. Indeed, antibodies are currently applied for both cancer diagnosis and therapy. For example, monoclonal antibodies are the main constituents of several in vitro diagnostics, which are applied at many levels of cancer [...] Read more.
The antibody era has greatly impacted cancer management in recent decades. Indeed, antibodies are currently applied for both cancer diagnosis and therapy. For example, monoclonal antibodies are the main constituents of several in vitro diagnostics, which are applied at many levels of cancer diagnosis. Moreover, the great improvement provided by in vivo imaging, especially for early-stage cancer diagnosis, has traced the path for the development of a complete new class of antibodies, i.e., engineered antibody fragments. The latter embody the optimal characteristics (e.g., low renal retention, rapid clearance, and small size) which make them ideal for in vivo applications. Furthermore, the present review focuses on reviewing the main applications of antibodies and antibody fragments for solid cancer diagnosis, both in vitro and in vivo. Furthermore, we review the scientific evidence showing that ion channels represent an almost unexplored class of ideal targets for both in vitro and in vivo diagnostic purposes. In particular, we review the applications, in solid cancers, of monoclonal antibodies and engineered antibody fragments targeting the voltage-dependent ion channel Kv 11.1, also known as hERG1. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Antibody-Based Diagnostics)
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Open AccessReview
Targeting the MHC Ligandome by Use of TCR-Like Antibodies
Antibodies 2019, 8(2), 32; https://doi.org/10.3390/antib8020032
Received: 16 April 2019 / Revised: 6 May 2019 / Accepted: 7 May 2019 / Published: 9 May 2019
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Abstract
Monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) are valuable as research reagents, in diagnosis and in therapy. Their high specificity, the ease in production, favorable biophysical properties and the opportunity to engineer different properties make mAbs a versatile class of biologics. mAbs targeting peptide–major histocompatibility molecule (pMHC) [...] Read more.
Monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) are valuable as research reagents, in diagnosis and in therapy. Their high specificity, the ease in production, favorable biophysical properties and the opportunity to engineer different properties make mAbs a versatile class of biologics. mAbs targeting peptide–major histocompatibility molecule (pMHC) complexes are often referred to as “TCR-like” mAbs, as pMHC complexes are generally recognized by T-cell receptors (TCRs). Presentation of self- and non-self-derived peptide fragments on MHC molecules and subsequent activation of T cells dictate immune responses in health and disease. This includes responses to infectious agents or cancer but also aberrant responses against harmless self-peptides in autoimmune diseases. The ability of TCR-like mAbs to target specific peptides presented on MHC allows for their use to study peptide presentation or for diagnosis and therapy. This extends the scope of conventional mAbs, which are generally limited to cell-surface or soluble antigens. Herein, we review the strategies used to generate TCR-like mAbs and provide a structural comparison with the analogous TCR in pMHC binding. We further discuss their applications as research tools and therapeutic reagents in preclinical models as well as challenges and limitations associated with their use. Full article
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Open AccessReview
The Diagnostic and Clinical Utility of Autoantibodies in Systemic Vasculitis
Antibodies 2019, 8(2), 31; https://doi.org/10.3390/antib8020031
Received: 18 March 2019 / Revised: 14 April 2019 / Accepted: 16 April 2019 / Published: 1 May 2019
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Abstract
Considerable progress has been made in understanding the role of autoantibodies in systemic vasculitides (SV), and consequently testing for anti-neutrophil cytoplasmic antibodies (ANCA), anti-glomerular basement membrane antibodies (anti-GBM), and anti-C1q antibodies is helpful and necessary in the diagnosis, prognosis, and monitoring of small-vessel [...] Read more.
Considerable progress has been made in understanding the role of autoantibodies in systemic vasculitides (SV), and consequently testing for anti-neutrophil cytoplasmic antibodies (ANCA), anti-glomerular basement membrane antibodies (anti-GBM), and anti-C1q antibodies is helpful and necessary in the diagnosis, prognosis, and monitoring of small-vessel vasculitis. ANCA-directed proteinase 3 (PR3-) or myeloperoxidase (MPO-) are sensitive and specific serologic markers for ANCA-associated vasculitides (AAV), anti-GBM antibodies are highly specific for the patients with anti-GBM antibody disease (formerly Goodpasture’s syndrome), and autoantibodies to C1q are characteristic of hypocomlementemic urticarial vasculitis syndrome (HUVS; anti-C1q vasculitis). The results of a current EUVAS study have led to changes in the established strategy for the ANCA testing in small-vessel vasculitis. The revised 2017 international consensus recommendations for ANCA detection support the primary use PR3- and MPO-ANCA immunoassays without the categorical need for additional indirect immunofluorescence (IIF). Interestingly, the presence of PR3- and MPO-ANCA have led to the differentiation of distinct disease phenotype of AAV: PR3-ANCA-associated vasculitis (PR3-AAV), MPO-ANCA-associated vasculitis (MPO-AAV), and ANCA-negative vasculitis. Further studies on the role of these autoantibodies are required to better categorize and manage appropriately the patients with small-vessel vasculitis and to develop more targeted therapy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Antibody-Based Diagnostics)
Open AccessReview
The Ligands for Human IgG and Their Effector Functions
Antibodies 2019, 8(2), 30; https://doi.org/10.3390/antib8020030
Received: 26 March 2019 / Revised: 16 April 2019 / Accepted: 18 April 2019 / Published: 25 April 2019
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Abstract
Activation of the humoral immune system is initiated when antibodies recognize an antigen and trigger effector functions through the interaction with Fc engaging molecules. The most abundant immunoglobulin isotype in serum is Immunoglobulin G (IgG), which is involved in many humoral immune responses, [...] Read more.
Activation of the humoral immune system is initiated when antibodies recognize an antigen and trigger effector functions through the interaction with Fc engaging molecules. The most abundant immunoglobulin isotype in serum is Immunoglobulin G (IgG), which is involved in many humoral immune responses, strongly interacting with effector molecules. The IgG subclass, allotype, and glycosylation pattern, among other factors, determine the interaction strength of the IgG-Fc domain with these Fc engaging molecules, and thereby the potential strength of their effector potential. The molecules responsible for the effector phase include the classical IgG-Fc receptors (FcγR), the neonatal Fc-receptor (FcRn), the Tripartite motif-containing protein 21 (TRIM21), the first component of the classical complement cascade (C1), and possibly, the Fc-receptor-like receptors (FcRL4/5). Here we provide an overview of the interactions of IgG with effector molecules and discuss how natural variation on the antibody and effector molecule side shapes the biological activities of antibodies. The increasing knowledge on the Fc-mediated effector functions of antibodies drives the development of better therapeutic antibodies for cancer immunotherapy or treatment of autoimmune diseases. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Structure and Function of Antibodies)
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Open AccessReview
IMGT® and 30 Years of Immunoinformatics Insight in Antibody V and C Domain Structure and Function
Antibodies 2019, 8(2), 29; https://doi.org/10.3390/antib8020029
Received: 13 March 2019 / Revised: 29 March 2019 / Accepted: 9 April 2019 / Published: 11 April 2019
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Abstract
At the 10th Human Genome Mapping (HGM10) Workshop, in New Haven, for the first time, immunoglobulin (IG) or antibody and T cell receptor (TR) variable (V), diversity (D), joining (J), and constant (C) genes were officially recognized as ‘genes’, as were the conventional [...] Read more.
At the 10th Human Genome Mapping (HGM10) Workshop, in New Haven, for the first time, immunoglobulin (IG) or antibody and T cell receptor (TR) variable (V), diversity (D), joining (J), and constant (C) genes were officially recognized as ‘genes’, as were the conventional genes. Under these HGM auspices, IMGT®, the international ImMunoGeneTics information system®, was created in June 1989 at Montpellier (University of Montpellier and CNRS). The creation of IMGT® marked the birth of immunoinformatics, a new science, at the interface between immunogenetics and bioinformatics. The accuracy and the consistency between genes and alleles, sequences, and three-dimensional (3D) structures are based on the IMGT Scientific chart rules generated from the IMGT-ONTOLOGY axioms and concepts: IMGT standardized keywords (IDENTIFICATION), IMGT gene and allele nomenclature (CLASSIFICATION), IMGT standardized labels (DESCRIPTION), IMGT unique numbering and IMGT Collier de Perles (NUMEROTATION). These concepts provide IMGT® immunoinformatics insights for antibody V and C domain structure and function, used for the standardized description in IMGT® web resources, databases and tools, immune repertoires analysis, single cell and/or high-throughput sequencing (HTS, NGS), antibody humanization, and antibody engineering in relation with effector properties. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Structure and Function of Antibodies)
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Open AccessReview
David vs. Goliath: The Structure, Function, and Clinical Prospects of Antibody Fragments
Antibodies 2019, 8(2), 28; https://doi.org/10.3390/antib8020028
Received: 1 February 2019 / Revised: 12 March 2019 / Accepted: 2 April 2019 / Published: 9 April 2019
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Abstract
Since the licensing of the first monoclonal antibody therapy in 1986, monoclonal antibodies have become the largest class of biopharmaceuticals with over 80 antibodies currently approved for a variety of disease indications. The development of smaller, antigen binding antibody fragments, derived from conventional [...] Read more.
Since the licensing of the first monoclonal antibody therapy in 1986, monoclonal antibodies have become the largest class of biopharmaceuticals with over 80 antibodies currently approved for a variety of disease indications. The development of smaller, antigen binding antibody fragments, derived from conventional antibodies or produced recombinantly, has been growing at a fast pace. Antibody fragments can be used on their own or linked to other molecules to generate numerous possibilities for bispecific, multi-specific, multimeric, or multifunctional molecules, and to achieve a variety of biological effects. They offer several advantages over full-length monoclonal antibodies, particularly a lower cost of goods, and because of their small size they can penetrate tissues, access challenging epitopes, and have potentially reduced immunogenicity. In this review, we will discuss the structure, production, and mechanism of action of EMA/FDA-approved fragments and of those in clinical and pre-clinical development. We will also discuss current topics of interest surrounding the potential use of antibody fragments for intracellular targeting and blood–brain barrier (BBB) penetration. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Structure and Function of Antibodies)
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Open AccessReview
Single-Domain Antibodies as Therapeutic and Imaging Agents for the Treatment of CNS Diseases
Antibodies 2019, 8(2), 27; https://doi.org/10.3390/antib8020027
Received: 1 March 2019 / Revised: 25 March 2019 / Accepted: 28 March 2019 / Published: 5 April 2019
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Abstract
Antibodies have become one of the most successful therapeutics for a number of oncology and inflammatory diseases. So far, central nervous system (CNS) indications have missed out on the antibody revolution, while they remain ‘hidden’ behind several hard to breach barriers. Among the [...] Read more.
Antibodies have become one of the most successful therapeutics for a number of oncology and inflammatory diseases. So far, central nervous system (CNS) indications have missed out on the antibody revolution, while they remain ‘hidden’ behind several hard to breach barriers. Among the various antibody modalities, single-domain antibodies (sdAbs) may hold the ‘key’ to unlocking the access of antibody therapies to CNS diseases. The unique structural features of sdAbs make them the smallest monomeric antibody fragments suitable for molecular targeting. These features are of particular importance when developing antibodies as modular building blocks for engineering CNS-targeting therapeutics and imaging agents. In this review, we first introduce the characteristic properties of sdAbs compared to traditional antibodies. We then present recent advances in the development of sdAbs as potential therapeutics across brain barriers, including their use for the delivery of biologics across the blood–brain and blood–cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) barriers, treatment of neurodegenerative diseases and molecular imaging of brain targets. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanobody)
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Open AccessArticle
VHH-Photosensitizer Conjugates for Targeted Photodynamic Therapy of Met-Overexpressing Tumor Cells
Antibodies 2019, 8(2), 26; https://doi.org/10.3390/antib8020026
Received: 27 February 2019 / Revised: 9 March 2019 / Accepted: 28 March 2019 / Published: 4 April 2019
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Abstract
Photodynamic therapy (PDT) is an approach that kills (cancer) cells by the local production of toxic reactive oxygen species upon the local illumination of a photosensitizer (PS). The specificity of PDT has been further enhanced by the development of a new water-soluble PS [...] Read more.
Photodynamic therapy (PDT) is an approach that kills (cancer) cells by the local production of toxic reactive oxygen species upon the local illumination of a photosensitizer (PS). The specificity of PDT has been further enhanced by the development of a new water-soluble PS and by the specific delivery of PS via conjugation to tumor-targeting antibodies. To improve tissue penetration and shorten photosensitivity, we have recently introduced nanobodies, also known as VHH (variable domains from the heavy chain of llama heavy chain antibodies), for targeted PDT of cancer cells overexpressing the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR). Overexpression and activation of another cancer-related receptor, the hepatocyte growth factor receptor (HGFR, c-Met or Met) is also involved in the progression and metastasis of a large variety of malignancies. In this study we evaluate whether anti-Met VHHs conjugated to PS can also serve as a biopharmaceutical for targeted PDT. VHHs targeting the SEMA (semaphorin-like) subdomain of Met were provided with a C-terminal tag that allowed both straightforward purification from yeast supernatant and directional conjugation to the PS IRDye700DX using maleimide chemistry. The generated anti-Met VHH-PS showed nanomolar binding affinity and, upon illumination, specifically killed MKN45 cells with nanomolar potency. This study shows that Met can also serve as a membrane target for targeted PDT. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanobody)
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