Abstract: There is considerable interest in the characterization of novel tumor-associated antigens that lend themselves to antibody-mediated pharmacodelivery strategies. Delta-like 1 homolog protein (DLK1), which exists both as transmembrane protein and in soluble form, shows a restricted pattern of expression in healthy organs, while being overexpressed in some tumors. We have generated a human antibody specific to DLK1 using phage display technology. This reagent was used for a comprehensive characterization of DLK1 expression in freshly frozen sections of normal human adult tissues and of xenografted human tumors. DLK1 was virtually undetectable in most organs, except for placenta which was weakly positive. By contrast, DLK1 exhibited a moderate-to-strong expression in 8/9 tumor types tested. Our analysis shed light on previous conflicting reports on DLK1 expression in health and disease. The study suggests that DLK1 may be considered as a target for antibody-mediated pharmacodelivery strategies, in view of the protein’s limited expression in normal tissues and its abundance in the interstitium of neoplastic lesions.
Abstract: Deregulation of the tumor necrosis factor (TNF) plays an important role in the initiation and perpetuation of chronic inflammation and has been implicated in the development of various autoimmune diseases. Accordingly, TNF-inhibitors are successfully used for the treatment of several diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, and psoriasis. However, total inhibition of TNF can cause severe side effects such as an increased risk of inflammation and reactivation of tuberculosis. This is likely due to the different actions of the two TNF receptors. Whereas TNFR1 predominantly promotes inflammatory signaling pathways, TNFR2 mediates immune modulatory functions and promotes tissue homeostasis and regeneration. Therefore, the specific blockage of TNFR1 signaling, either by direct inhibition with TNFR1-selective antagonists or by targeting soluble TNF, which predominantly activates TNFR1, may prevent the detrimental effects associated with total TNF-inhibitors and constitute a next-generation approach to interfere with TNF.
Abstract: Several autoimmune diseases are marked by a deficiency of soluble tumor necrosis factor (TNF). The TNF deficiency is caused in at least one autoimmune disease, multiple sclerosis, by an overabundance of TNF receptor 1 (TNFR1). Excess TNFR1 binds and inactivates TNF and this leaves less TNF bioavailable. This study sought to determine if expression of fresh or IL2-stimulated TNF receptors on Tregs cells, an important immunoregulatory cell involved in autoimmunity, is altered in type I diabetes. Standard fluorescence analysis was used to examine the levels of TNFR1 and TNFR2 on human Tregs in patients with type I diabetes (T1D) or controls. Fresh Tregs from T1D compared to control Tregs had identical levels of TNFR1. In marked contrast, Type 1 diabetic patients Treg cells had statistically elevated levels of TNFR2 compared to controls. Tregs stimulated with IL2 from both T1D and controls showed marked increase of TNFR2 expression in a dose-response manner, but the dose response increase in TNFR2 was significantly higher for T1D Treg cells. No IL2 dose-response was present for TNFR1 on either T1D or control Tregs exposed to IL2. A large study of serum for secreted levels of TNFR2 also revealed elevated circulating levels consistent with the elevated surface expression on Tregs. These findings suggest that abnormal regulation of TNFR2 expression with elevated cellular and secreted levels of TNFR2 is a characteristic of Type 1 diabetes. It is possible that the relative deficiency of TNF in type I diabetes, in contrast to multiple sclerosis, is caused by excess expression of TNFR such as TNFR2, a binding structure for inactivating TNF.
Antibodies2015, 4(1), 12-33; doi:10.3390/antib4010012 - published 26 January 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Engineered antibodies are key players in therapy, diagnostics and research. In addition to full size immunoglobulin gamma (IgG) molecules, smaller formats of recombinant antibodies, such as single-chain variable fragments (scFv) and antigen binding fragments (Fab), have emerged as promising alternatives since they possess different advantageous properties. Cell-based production technologies of antibodies and antibody fragments are well-established, allowing researchers to design and manufacture highly specific molecular recognition tools. However, as these technologies are accompanied by the drawbacks of being rather time-consuming and cost-intensive, efficient and powerful cell-free protein synthesis systems have been developed over the last decade as alternatives. So far, prokaryotic cell-free systems have been the focus of interest. Recently, eukaryotic in vitro translation systems have enriched the antibody production pipeline, as these systems are able to mimic the natural pathway of antibody synthesis in eukaryotic cells. This review aims to overview and summarize the advances made in the production of antibodies and antibody fragments in cell-free systems.
Antibodies2015, 4(1), 1-10; doi:10.3390/antib4010001 - published 24 December 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: The phenotypical consequences of a combined deficiency of the Fas-Fas Ligand (FasL) and one or both Tumor Necrosis Factor (TNF) signaling pathways were investigated. Mice, which expressed a non-functional FasL suffered from a pathological accumulation of both B and T cells leading to splenomegaly and lymphadenopathy and, depending on the genetic background, pathogenic self-reactive antibodies (generalized lymphoproliferative disorder (gld)-phenotype). If mice additionally lacked TNF, they displayed a significantly ameliorated gld-phenotype while TNF Receptor-1-deficient gld mice (B6.gld.TNFR1−/−) displayed a more severe phenotype. To complement this combination, we also generated TNF Receptor-2-deficient gld mice (B6.gld.TNFR2−/−). Both double knockouts followed in their splenic structure the respective TNFR contribution to the phenotype. TNFR1−/− mice showed an absence of B cell follicles in the spleen while TNFR2−/− mice were comparable to WT mice. In general, we demonstrated a strong contribution of both TNFR signaling pathways to the symptoms of gld with the notable exception of splenomegaly where only TNFR1−/− played a role.