We report a convenient new technique for the labeling of filamentous phage capsid proteins. Previous reports have shown that phage coat protein residues can be modified, but the lack of chemically distinct amino acids in the coat protein sequences makes it difficult to attach high levels of synthetic molecules without altering the binding capabilities of the phage. To modify the phage with polymer chains, imaging groups, and other molecules, we have developed chemistry to convert the N-terminal amines of the ~4,200 coat proteins into ketone groups. These sites can then serve as chemospecific handles for the attachment of alkoxyamine groups through oxime formation. Specifically, we demonstrate the attachment of fluorophores and up to 3,000 molecules of 2 kD poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG2k) to each of the phage capsids without significantly affecting the binding of phage-displayed antibody fragments to EGFR and HER2 (two important epidermal growth factor receptors). We also demonstrate the utility of the modified phage for the characterization of breast cancer cells using multicolor fluorescence microscopy. Due to the widespread use of filamentous phage as display platforms for peptide and protein evolution, we envision that the ability to attach large numbers of synthetic functional groups to their coat proteins will be of significant value to the biological and materials communities.
phage display; bioorthogonal; bioconjugation; materials science; cancer imaging
A non-immune library of human single chain fragment variable (scFv) antibodies displayed on Saccharomyces cerevisiae was screened for binding to the Clostridium botulinum neurotoxin serotype A binding domain [BoNT/A (Hc)] with the goal of identifying scFv to novel epitopes. To do this, an antibody-mediated labeling strategy was used in which antigen-binding yeast clones were selected after labeling with previously characterized monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) specific to the Hc. Twenty unique scFv clones were isolated that bound Hc. Of these, three also bound to full-length BoNT/A toxin complex with affinities ranging from 5 nM to 48 nM. Epitope binning showed that the three unique clones recognized at least two epitopes distinct from one another as well as from the detection MAbs. After production in E. coli, scFv were coupled to magnetic particles and tested for their ability to capture BoNT/A holotoxin using an Endopep-MS assay. In this assay, toxin captured by scFv coated magnetic particles was detected by incubation of the complex with a peptide containing a BoNT/A-specific cleavage sequence. Mass spectrometry was used to detect the ratio of intact peptide to cleavage products as evidence for toxin capture. When tested individually, each of the scFv showed a weak positive Endopep-MS result. However, when the particles were coated with all three scFv simultaneously, they exhibited significantly higher Endopep-MS activity, consistent with synergistic binding. These results demonstrate novel approaches toward the isolation and characterization of scFv antibodies specific to unlabeled antigens. They also provide evidence that distinct scFv antibodies can work synergistically to increase the efficiency of antigen capture onto a solid support.
Affinity reagents; molecular probes; scFv; antibodies; BoNT/A; yeast display
Osteosarcoma is the most common primary malignancy of bone in children, adolescents, and adults. Despite extensive surgery and adjuvant aggressive high-dose systemic chemotherapy with potentially severe bystander side effects, cure is attainable in about 70% of patients with localized disease and only 20%–30% of those patients with metastatic disease. Targeted therapies clearly are warranted in improving our treatment of this adolescent killer. However, a lack of osteosarcoma-associated/specific markers has hindered development of targeted therapeutics. We describe a novel osteosarcoma-associated cell surface antigen, ALCAM. We, then, create an engineered anti-ALCAM-hybrid polymerized liposomal nanoparticle immunoconjugate (α-AL-HPLN) to specifically target osteosarcoma cells and deliver a cytotoxic chemotherapeutic agent, doxorubicin. We have demonstrated that α-AL-HPLNs have significantly enhanced cytotoxicity over untargeted HPLNs and over a conventional liposomal doxorubicin formulation. In this way, α-AL-HPLNs are a promising new strategy to specifically deliver cytotoxic agents in osteosarcoma.
Antibody-based therapeutics currently enjoy unprecedented success, growth in research and revenues, and recognition of their potential. It appears that the promise of the “magic bullet” has largely been realized. There are currently 22 monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for clinical use and hundreds are in clinical trials for treatment of various diseases including cancers, immune disorders, and infections. The revenues from the top five therapeutic antibodies (Rituxan, Remicade, Herceptin, Humira, and Avastin) nearly doubled from $6.4 billion in 2004 to $11.7 billion in 2006. During the last several years major pharmaceutical companies raced to acquire antibody companies, with a recent example of MedImmune being purchased for $15.6 billion by AstraZeneca. These therapeutic and business successes reflect the major advances in antibody engineering which have resulted in the generation of safe, specific, high-affinity, and non-immunogenic antibodies during the last three decades. Currently, second and third generations of antibodies are under development, mostly to improve already existing antibody specificities. However, although the refinement of already known methodologies is certainly of great importance for potential clinical use, there are no conceptually new developments in the last decade comparable, for example, to the development of antibody libraries, phage display, domain antibodies (dAbs), and antibody humanization to name a few. A fundamental question is then whether there will be another change in the paradigm of research as happened 1–2 decades ago or the current trend of gradual improvement of already developed methodologies and therapeutic antibodies will continue. Although any prediction could prove incorrect, it appears that conceptually new methodologies are needed to overcome the fundamental problems of drug (antibody) resistance due to genetic or/and epigenetic alterations in cancer and chronic infections, as well as problems related to access to targets and complexity of biological systems. If new methodologies are not developed, it is likely that gradual saturation will occur in the pipeline of conceptually new antibody therapeutics. In this scenario we will witness an increase in combination of targets and antibodies, and further attempts to personalize targeted treatments by using appropriate biomarkers as well as to develop novel scaffolds with properties that are superior to those of the antibodies now in clinical use.
Antibody therapy; Rituxan; Herceptin; Remicade; Synagis; Humira; Avastin; IgG1; domain antibodies; antibody-derived scaffold
To generate and evaluate a positron emission tomography (PET) radiotracer targeting activated leukocyte cell adhesion molecule (ALCAM/CD166).
A human anti-ALCAM single chain variable fragment was reformatted to produce a covalent dimer, termed a cys-diabody (CysDb). Purified CysDb was characterized by gel electrophoresis and size exclusion chromatography, and immunoreactivity was assessed by flow cytometry and immunofluorescence. Targeting and imaging of ALCAM-positive tumors using 64Cu-DOTA-CysDb were evaluated in mice bearing human pancreatic adenocarcinoma xenografts (HPAF-II or BxPC-3).
CysDb binds specifically to ALCAM-positive cells in vitro with an apparent affinity in the range of 1–3 nM. MicroPET images at 4 h showed specific targeting of positive tumors in vivo, a finding confirmed by biodistribution analysis, with positive-to-negative tumor ratios of 1.9±0.6 and 2.4±0.6, and positive tumor-to-blood ratios of 2.5±0.9 and 2.9±0.6 (HPAF-II and BxPC-3, respectively).
Successful imaging with 64Cu-DOTA-CysDb in animal models suggests further investigation of ALCAM as an imaging biomarker is warranted.
activated leukocyte cell adhesion molecule (ALCAM); biomarker; diabody; pancreatic cancer; positron emission tomography (PET)
The rapid tumor targeting and pharmacokinetic properties of engineered antibodies make them potentially suitable for use in imaging strategies to predict and monitor response to targeted therapies. This study aims to evaluate C6.5 diabody (C6.5db), a non-covalent anti-HER2 single chain-Fv dimer, as a radiotracer for predicting response to HER2-targeted therapies such as trastuzumab.
Immunodeficient mice bearing established HER2-positive tumor xenografts were injected with radioiodinated C6.5db and imaged using PET/CT. Radiotracer biodistribution was quantified using biopsied tumor and normal tissues. Potential competition between trastuzumab and C6.5db was examined in vitro by flow cytometry and co-immunoprecipitations.
Biodistribution analysis of mice bearing xenografts with varying HER2 density revealed that the tumor uptake of 125I-C6.5db correlates with HER2 tumor density. In vitro competition experiments suggest that the C6.5db targets an epitope on HER2 that is distinct from that bound by trastuzumab. Treatment of SK-OV-3-tumored mice with trastuzumab for 3 d caused a 42% (P=0.002) decrease in tumor uptake of 125I-C6.5db. This is consistent with a dramatic decrease in the tumor PET signal of 124I-C6.5db after trastuzumab treatment. Furthermore, BT-474-tumored mice showed a ∼60% decrease (P=0.0026) in C6.5db uptake after 6 d of trastuzumab treatment. Immunohistochemistry of excised xenograft sections and in vitro flow cytometry revealed that the decreased C6.5db uptake upon trastuzumab treatment is not associated with HER2 downregulation.
These studies suggest that 124I-C6.5db-based imaging can be used to evaluate HER2 levels as a predictor of respone to HER2-directed therapies.
antibody; HER2; breast cancer; trastuzumab; PET imaging
Antibody drugs are widely used in cancer therapy, but conditions to maximize tumor penetration and efficacy have yet to be fully elucidated. In this study, we investigated the impact of antibody binding affinity on tumor targeting and penetration with affinity variants that recognize the same epitope. Specifically, we compared four derivatives of the C6.5 monoclonal antibody (MAb) which recognizes the same HER2 epitope (monovalent KDs ranging from 270nM to 0.56nM). Moderate affinity was associated with the highest tumor accumulation at 24hr and 120hr post i.v. injection, whereas high affinity was found to produce the lowest tumor accumulation. Highest affinity MAb were confined to the perivascular space of tumors with an average penetration of 20.4 +/− 7.5 microns from tumor blood vessels. Conversely, lowest affinity MAb exhibited a broader distribution pattern with an average penetration of 84.8 +/− 12.8 microns. In vitro internalization assays revealed that antibody internalization and catabolism generally increased with affinity, plateauing once the rate of HER2 internalization exceeded the rate of antibody dissociation. Effects of internalization and catabolism on tumor targeting were further examined using antibodies of moderate (C6.5) or high affinity (trastuzumab) labeled with residualizing (111In-labeled) or non-residualizing (125I-labeled) radioisotopes. Significant amounts of antibody of both affinities were degraded by tumors in vivo. Further, moderate to high affinity MAbs targeting the same HER2 epitope with monovalent affinity above 23nM had equal tumor accumulation of residualizing radiolabel over 120hrs. Results indicated equal tumor exposure, suggesting that MAb penetration and retention in tumors reflected affinity-based differences in tumor catabolism. Together, these results suggest that high-density, rapidly internalizing antigens subject high-affinity antibodies to greater internalization and degradation, thereby limiting their penetration of tumors. In contrast, lower affinity antibodies penetrate tumors more effectively when rates of antibody-antigen dissociation are higher than rates of antigen internalization. Together, our findings offer insights into how to optimize the ability of therapeutic antibodies to penetrate tumors.
Endometrial cancer (EC) is the most common gynecologic malignancy. One promising biomarker is epithelial membrane protein-2 (EMP2), and its expression is an independent prognostic indicator for tumors with poor clinical outcome expression. The present study assesses the suitability of EMP2 as a therapeutic target.
Human monovalent anti-EMP2 antibody fragments were isolated from a human phage display library, and engineered as bivalent antibody fragments (diabodies) with specificity and avidity to both EMP2 peptides and native cell-surface EMP2 protein. Diabodies were assessed using cell death and apoptosis assays. In addition, the efficacy of EMP2 diabodies on EC tumors was determined using mouse xenograft models.
Treatment of human endometrial adenocarcinoma cell lines with anti-EMP2 diabodies induced significant cell death and caspase 3 cleavage in vitro. These responses correlated with cellular EMP2 expression, and were augmented by progesterone (which physiologically induces EMP2 expression). In vivo, treatment of subcutaneous human xenografts of HEC-1A cell lines with anti-EMP2 diabodies suppressed tumor growth, and induced striking xenograft cell death.
These findings suggest that EMP2 may be a potential pharmacological target for human EC.
Epithelial membrane protein 2; endometrial cancer; phage display; antibody therapy
The airway is a primary portal of entry for noxious environmental stimuli that can trigger airway remodeling, which contributes significantly to airway obstruction in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and chronic asthma. Important pathologic components of airway remodeling include fibrosis and abnormal innate and adaptive immune responses. The positioning of fibroblasts in interstitial spaces suggests that they could participate in both fibrosis and chemokine regulation of the trafficking of immune cells such as dendritic cells, which are crucial antigen-presenting cells. However, physiological evidence for this dual role for fibroblasts is lacking. Here, in two physiologically relevant models — conditional deletion in mouse fibroblasts of the TGF-β–activating integrin αvβ8 and neutralization of αvβ8 in human COPD fibroblasts — we have elucidated a mechanism whereby lung fibroblast chemokine secretion directs dendritic cell trafficking, in a manner that is critically dependent on αvβ8-mediated activation of TGF-β by fibroblasts. Our data therefore indicate that fibroblasts have a crucial role in regulating both fibrotic and immune responses in the lung.
Ingestion or inhalation of botulinum neurotoxin (BoNT) results in botulism, a severe and frequently fatal disease. Current treatments rely on antitoxins, which while effective cannot reverse symptoms once BoNT has entered the neuron. For treatments that can reverse intoxication, interest has focused on developing inhibitors of the enzymatic BoNT light chain (BoNT Lc). Such inhibitors typically mimic substrate and bind in or around the substrate cleavage pocket. To explore the full range of binding sites for serotype A light chain (BoNT/A Lc) inhibitors, we created a library of non-immune llama single domain VHH antibodies displayed on the surface of the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Library selection on BoNT/A Lc yielded 15 yeast displayed VHH with equilibrium dissociation constants (KD) from 230 to 0.03 nM measured by flow cytometry. Eight of 15 VHH inhibited the cleavage of substrate SNAP25 by BoNT/A Lc. The most potent VHH (Aa1) had a solution KD for BoNT/A Lc of 1.47 × 10-10 M, an IC50 of 4.7 × 10-10 M, and was resistant to heat denaturation and reducing conditions. To understand the mechanism by which Aa1 inhibited catalysis, the X-ray crystal structure of the BoNT/A Lc - Aa1 VHH complex was solved at 2.6 Å resolution. The structure reveals that the Aa1 VHH binds in the alpha-exosite of the BoNT/A Lc, far from the active site for catalysis. The study validates the utility of non-immune llama VHH libraries as a source of enzyme inhibitors and identifies the BoNT/A Lc alpha-exosite as a target for inhibitor development.
botulinum neurotoxin type A; llama single VHH; single domain antibody; alpha-exosite; Naïve yeast-displayed library
The cell surface protease membrane-type serine protease 1 [MT-SP1]/matriptase is often upregulated in epithelial cancers. A dysregulation in MT-SP1/matriptase levels with respect to its cognate inhibitor hepatocyte growth factor activator inhibitor-1 [HAI-1] suggests that it is an increase in proteolytic activity that significantly differentiates malignant from normal tissue. Here we use antibodies to demonstrate that MT-SP1 is active on cancer cells and that this activity may be targeted for tumor detection in vivo. A proteolytic activity assay with the MT-SP1-positive human cancer cell lines MCF-7, HT29, LNCaP, and MDA-MB-468 showed that the antibodies, which inhibit recombinant catalytic MT-SP1, are able to bind and inhibit the full-length enzyme. The same experiment with the MT-SP1-negative breast cancer cell lines MDA-MB-231, COLO 320DM and HT1080 showed no inhibition of proteolysis. Fluorescent microscopy then confirmed localization of labeled antibodies to the surface of MT-SP1-positive cells. To evaluate these antibodies as probes for targeting MT-SP1 activity in vivo, 0.7-2 nanomoles of fluorescently labeled antibodies were administered to xenograft mouse cancer models. The antibodies localized to the MT-SP1-positive MCF-7 and MCF-7/Luc+ tumors (n=3), permitting visualization of MT-SP1 activity. Fluorescence was not observed in MT-SP1-negative MDA-MD-231/Luc+ tumors (n=2), suggesting that MT-SP1 activity is a novel biomarker for epithelial cancer and these antibodies provide a non-invasive method for detecting this activity in vivo.
Cancer; MT-SP1; Matriptase; Protease Activity
A fluorescence sandwich immunoassay using high affinity antibodies and quantum dot (QD) reporters has been developed for detection of botulinum neurotoxin serotype A (BoNT/A) using a nontoxic recombinant fragment of the holotoxin (BoNT/A-HC-fragment) as a structurally valid simulant for the full toxin molecule. The antibodies used, AR4 and RAZ1, bind to nonoverlapping epitopes present on both the full toxin and on the recombinant fragment. In one format, the immunoassay is carried out in a 96-well plate with detection in a standard plate reader using AR4 as the capture antibody and QD-coupled RAZ1 as the reporter. Detection to 31 pM with a total incubation time of 3 hours was demonstrated. In a second format, the AR4 capture antibody was coupled to Sepharose beads, and the reactions were carried out in microcentrifuge tubes with an incubation time of 1 hour. The beads were subsequently captured and concentrated in a rotating rod “renewable surface” flow cell equipped with a fiber optic system for fluorescence measurements. In PBS buffer, the BoNT/A-HC-fragment was detected to concentrations as low as 5 pM using the fluidic measurement approach.
Quantum dot; immunoassay; botulinum toxin; fluorescence
Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs) are extremely potent toxins that are capable of causing respiratory failure leading to long-term intensive care or death. The best treatment for botulism includes serotype-specific antitoxins, which are most effective when administered early in the course of the intoxication. Early confirmation of human exposure to any serotype of BoNT is an important public health goal. In previous work, we focused on developing Endopep-MS, a mass spectrometry-based endopeptidase method for detecting and differentiating the seven serotypes (BoNT/A-G) in buffer and BoNT/A, /B, /E, and /F (the four serotypes that commonly affect humans) in clinical samples. We have previously reported the success of antibody-capture to purify and concentrate BoNTs from complex matrices, such as clinical samples. However, to check for any one of the four serotypes of BoNT/A, /B, /E, or /F, each sample is split into 4 aliquots, and tested for the specific serotypes separately. The discovery of a unique monoclonal antibody that recognizes all four serotypes of BoNT/A, /B, /E and /F allows us to perform simultaneous detection of all of them. When applied in conjunction with the Endopep-MS assay, the detection limit for each serotype of BoNT with this multi-specific monoclonal antibody is similar to that obtained when using other serotype-specific antibodies.
HIV infection remains a major global public health problem, in part because of the ability of the virus to elude antiretroviral therapies. Most conventional drugs were designed to directly target virus-encoded mechanisms. However, there is increasing appreciation that certain host-encoded molecules are comparably important for the viral life cycle and could therefore represent potential antiviral targets. Prominent among these is TSG101, a cytoplasmic molecule that is “hijacked” by HIV and used to facilitate viral budding and release. In our present report, we demonstrate thatTSG101 is uniquely exposed on the surface of HIV-infected cells and is available to antibody-based therapies. We also characterize the development of a monoclonal antibody, CB8-2, which reduces virus production from infected cells. These studies demonstrate the potential of TSG101-directed antibodies to combat HIV/AIDS.
TSG101; HIV; monoclonal antibody; CB8-2; HIV/AIDS therapy
Adulteration of food or feed with any of the seven serotypes of botulinum neurotoxin (BoNT) is a potential bioterrorism concern. Currently, there is strong interest in the development of detection reagents, vaccines, therapeutics, and other countermeasures. A sensitive immunoassay for detecting BoNT serotype A (BoNT/A), based on monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) F1-2 and F1-40, has been developed and used in complex matrices. The epitope for F1-2 has been mapped to the heavy chain of BoNT/A, and the epitope of F1-40 has been mapped to the light chain. The ability of these MAbs to provide therapeutic protection against BoNT/A intoxication in mouse intravenous and oral intoxication models was tested. High dosages of individual MAbs protected mice well both pre- and postexposure to BoNT/A holotoxin. A combination therapy consisting of antibodies against both the light and heavy chains of the toxin, however, significantly increased protection, even at a lower MAb dosage. An in vitro peptide assay for measuring toxin activity showed that pretreatment of toxin with these MAbs did not block catalytic activity but instead blocked toxin entry into primary and cultured neuronal cells. The timing of antibody rescue in the mouse intoxication models revealed windows of opportunity for antibody therapeutic treatment that correlated well with the biologic half-life of the toxin in the serum. Knowledge of BoNT intoxication and antibody clearance in these mouse models and understanding of the pharmacokinetics of BoNT are invaluable for future development of antibodies and therapeutics against intoxication by BoNT.
Prostate stem cell antigen (PSCA), a cell surface glycoprotein expressed in normal human prostate and bladder, is over-expressed in the majority of localized prostate cancer and most bone metastases. We have previously shown that the hu1G8 minibody, a humanized anti-PSCA antibody fragment (single-chain Fv-CH3 dimer, 80 kDa), can localize specifically and image PSCA-expressing xenografts at 21 h post-injection. However, the humanization and antibody fragment reformatting decreased its apparent affinity. Here, we sought to evaluate PET imaging contrast with affinity matured minibodies.
Yeast scFv display, involving four rounds of selection, was used to generate the three affinity matured antibody fragments (A2, A11, and C5) that were reformatted into minibodies. These three affinity matured anti-PSCA minibodies were characterized in vitro, and following radiolabeling with 124I were evaluated in vivo for microPET imaging of PSCA-expressing tumors.
The A2, A11, and C5 minibody variants all demonstrated improved affinity compared to the parental (P) minibody and were ranked as follows: A2 > A11 > C5 > P. The 124I-labeled A11 minibody demonstrated higher immunoreactivity than the parental minibody and also achieved the best microPET imaging contrast in two xenograft models, LAPC-9 (prostate cancer) and Capan-1 (pancreatic cancer), when evaluated in vivo.
Of the affinity variant minibodies tested, the A11 minibody that ranked second in affinity was selected as the best immunoPET tracer to image PSCA-expressing xenografts. This candidate is currently under development for evaluation in a pilot clinical imaging study.
Imaging; Prostate; Cancer; PSCA; Antibody; PET
To generate a panel of antibodies binding human breast cancers, a human single chain Fv phage display library was selected for rapid internalization into the SK-BR-3 breast cancer cell line. Thirteen unique antibodies were identified within the 55 cell binding antibodies studied, all of them showing specific staining of tumor cells compare to normal epithelial cells. Two of the antibodies bound the ErbB2 oncogene while 6 bound the tumor marker transferrin receptor (TfR). By developing a scFv immunoprecipitation method, we were able to use LC-MS/MS to identify the antigen bound by one of the antibodies (3GA5) as FPRP (prostaglandin F2alpha receptor-regulatory protein)/EWI-F/CD9P-1 (CD9 partner 1) an Ig superfamily member that has been described to interact directly with CD9 and CD81 tetraspanins and to be overexpressed in adherent cancer cell lines. Although the 3GA5 scFv had no direct anti-proliferative effect, intracellular expression of the scFv was able to knockdown CD9P-1 expression and could be used to further define the role of the tetraspanin system in proliferation and metastasis. Moreover, the 3GA5 scFv was rapidly internalized into breast tumor cells and could have potential for the targeted delivery of cytotoxic agents to breast cancers. This study is the proof of principle that the direct selection of phage antibody libraries on tumor cells can effectively lead to the identification and functional characterization of relevant tumor markers.
phage display; scFv; intrabody; tumor marker; internalization; CD9P-1; transferrin receptor
Liposome and immunoliposome formulations of two vinca alkaloids, vincristine and vinblastine, were prepared using intraliposomal triethylammonium sucroseoctasulfate and examined for their ability to stabilize the drug for targeted drug delivery in vivo.
The pharmacokinetics of both the encapsulated drug (vincristine or vinblastine) and liposomal carrier were examined in Sprague Dawley rats, and the in vivo drug release rates determined. Anti-HER2 immunoliposomal vincristine was prepared from a human anti-HER2/neu scFv and studied for targeted cytotoxic activity in cell culture, and antitumor efficacy in vivo.
Nanoliposome formulations of vincristine and vinblastine demonstrated similar pharmacokinetic profiles for the liposomal carrier, but increased clearance for liposome encapsulated vinblastine (t1/2 = 9.7 h) relative to vincristine (t1/2 = 18.5 h). Immunoliposome formulations of vincristine targeted to HER2 using an anti-HER2 scFv antibody fragment displayed a marked enhancement in cytotoxicity when compared to non-targeted liposomal vincristine control; 63- or 253-fold for BT474 and SKBR3 breast cancer cells, respectively. Target-specific activity was also demonstrated in HER2-overexpressing human tumor xenografts, where the HER2-targeted formulation was significantly more efficacious than either free vincristine or non-targeted liposomal vincristine.
These results demonstrate that active targeting of solid tumors with liposomal formulations of vincristine is possible when the resulting immunoliposomes are sufficiently stabilized.
Liposomes; Vincristine; Drug delivery; Vinca alkaloid; Nanocarrier
Inappropriate signaling through the EGFR and ErbB2/HER2 members of the epidermal growth factor family of receptor tyrosine kinases is well recognized as being causally linked to a variety of cancers (Hynes and Lane 2005). Consequently, monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) specific for these receptors have become increasingly important components of effective treatment strategies for cancer. Increasing evidence suggests that ErbB3 plays a criticial role in cancer progression and resistance to therapy. We hypothesized that co-targeting the preferred ErbB2/ErbB3 heterodimer with a bispecific single chain-Fv (bs-scFv) antibody would promote increased targeting selectivity over antibodies specific for a single tumor associated antigen (TAA). In addition, we hypothesized that targeting this important heterodimer could induce a therapeutic effect. Here we describe the construction and evaluation of ALM, an anti-ErbB3/ErbB2 bs-scFv. ALM exhibits selective targeting of tumor cells in vitro and in vivo that co-express the two target antigens over tumor cells that express only one target antigen or normal cells that express low levels of both antigens. ALM also exhibits significantly greater in vivo targeting of ErbB2“+”/ErbB3“+” tumors than derivative molecules that contain only one functional arm targeting ErbB2 or ErbB3. Binding of ALM to ErbB2“+”/ErbB3“+” mediates inhibition of tumor cell growth in vitro by effectively targeting the therapeutic anti-ErbB3 A5 scFv. This suggests both that ALM could provide the basis for an effective therapeutic agent and that engineered antibodies selected to co-target critical functional pairs of TAAs can enhance the targeting specificity and efficacy of antibody-based cancer therapeutics.
engineered antibody; bispecific; ErbB
Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs) are extremely potent toxins that are capable of causing death or respiratory failure leading to long-term intensive care. Treatment includes serotype-specific antitoxins, which must be administered early in the course of the intoxication. Rapidly determining human exposure to BoNT is an important public health goal. In previous work, our laboratory focused on developing Endopep-MS, a mass spectrometry-based endopeptidase method for detecting and differentiating BoNT/A–G serotypes in buffer and BoNT/A, /B, /E, and /F in clinical samples. We have previously reported the effectiveness of antibody-capture to purify and concentrate BoNTs from complex matrices, such as clinical samples. Because some antibodies inhibit or neutralize the activity of BoNT, the choice of antibody with which to extract the toxin is critical. In this work, we evaluated a panel of 16 anti-BoNT/A monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) for their ability to inhibit the in vitro activity of BoNT/A1, /A2, and /A3 complex as well as the recombinant LC of A1. We also evaluated the same antibody panel for the ability to extract BoNT/A1, /A2, and /A3. Among the mAbs, there were significant differences in extraction efficiency, ability to extract BoNT/A subtypes, and inhibitory effect on BoNT catalytic activity. The mAbs binding the C-terminal portion of the BoNT/A heavy chain had optimal properties for use in the Endopep-MS assay.
Successful RAIT strategies depend upon selecting radioisotopes with physical properties complementary to the biological properties of the targeting vehicle. Small, engineered anti-tumor antibody fragments are capable of rapid, highly specific tumor targeting in immunodeficient mouse models. We hypothesized that their rapid systemic elimination would make them ideal radioisotope carriers for the radioimmunotherapy (RAIT) of established tumors. The C6.5 diabody, a non-covalent anti-HER2 single-chain Fv dimer, has a T1/2 α (equilibration phase) of 0.7 hrs, a T1/2 β (elimination phase) of 6 hrs, and a T1/2 in tumor of approximately 30 hrs that favors the use of short-lived radioisotopes. In particular, the α-particle emitting radioisotope 211At (T1/2 = 7.2 hrs) was hypothesized to be very promising for diabody-directed RAIT. This hypothesis was tested in immunodeficient nude mice bearing established HER2/neu positive MDA-MB-361/DYT2 tumors treated with 211At-SAPS C6.5 diabody (N-succinimidyl N-(4-[211At]astatophenethyl)succinamate-C6.5 diabody) at or below the maximum tolerated dose. A single i.v. injection of 211At-SAPS C6.5 diabody lead to a 30 day delay in tumor growth when a 20 µCi dose was administered and a 57 day delay in tumor growth (60% tumor free after one year) when a 45 µCi dose was employed. Treatment of mice bearing the same tumors with 211At-SAPS T84.66 diabody targeting the carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) at the same doses led to a delay in tumor growth, but no complete responses, likely due to substantially lower expression of this antigen on the MDA-MB-361/DYT2 tumors. A dose of 20 µCi of 211At-SAPS on an a diabody specific for the Müllerian Inhibiting Substance Type II Receptor which is minimally expressed on this tumor cell line did not impact tumor growth rate, demonstrating specificity. These findings indicate that diabody molecules can be effective agents for targeted radioimmunotherapy of solid tumors using powerful, short-lived α-emitting radioisotopes.
Transition from hormone-sensitive to hormone-refractory metastatic tumor types poses a major challenge for prostate cancer treatment. Tumor antigens that are differentially expressed during this transition are likely to play important roles in imparting prostate cancer cells with the ability to grow in a hormone-deprived environment and to metastasize to distal sites such as the bone and thus, are likely targets for therapeutic intervention. To identify those molecules and particularly cell surface antigens that accompany this transition, we studied the changes in cell surface antigenic profiles between a hormone-sensitive prostate cancer line LNCaP and its hormone-refractory derivative C4-2B, using an antibody library-based affinity proteomic approach. We selected a naïve phage antibody display library to identify human single-chain antibodies that bind specifically to C4-2B but not LNCaP. Using mass spectrometry, we identified one of the antibody-targeted antigens as the ICAM-1/CD54/human rhinovirus receptor. Recombinant IgG1 derived from this single-chain antibody binds to a neutralizing epitope of ICAM-1 and blocks C4-2B cell invasion through extracellular matrix in vitro. ICAM-1 is thus differentially expressed during the transition of the hormone-sensitive prostate cancer cell line LNCaP to its hormone-refractory derivative C4-2B, plays an important role in imparting the C4-2B line with the ability to invade, and may therefore be a target for therapeutic intervention.
Hormone refractory metastatic prostate cancer; Mass spectrometry; LNCaP; C4-2B; ICAM-1/CD54/rhinovirus receptor; Human single-chain antibodies; Neutralizing human IgG
Enveloped viruses trigger membrane fusion to gain entry into cells. The receptor affinities of their attachment proteins vary greatly, from 10−4 M to 10−9 M, but the significance of this is unknown. Using six retargeted measles viruses that bind to Her-2/neu with a 5-log range in affinity, we show that receptor affinity has little impact on viral attachment but is nevertheless a key determinant of infectivity and intercellular fusion. For a given cell surface receptor density, there is an affinity threshold above which cell-cell fusion proceeds efficiently. Suprathreshold affinities do not further enhance the efficiency of membrane fusion.
Discovery of tumor-selective antibodies or antibody fragments is a promising approach for delivering therapeutic agents to antigen over-expressing cancers. Therefore it is important to develop methods for the identification of target- and function specific antibodies for effective drug delivery. Here we describe a highly selective and sensitive method for characterizing the internalizing potential of multivalently displayed antibodies or ligands conjugated to liposomes into tumor cells. The assay requires minute amounts of histidine-tagged ligand and relies on the non-covalent coupling of these antibodies to fluorescent liposomes containing a metal ion-chelating lipid. Following incubation of cells with antibody-conjugated liposomes, surface bound liposomes are gently removed and the remaining internalized liposomes are quantitated based on fluorescence in a high throughput manner. We have termed this methodology "Chelated Ligand Internalization Assay", or CLIA.
The specificity of the assay was demonstrated with different antibodies to the ErbB-2 and EGF receptors. Antibody-uptake correlated with receptor expression levels in tumor cell lines with a range of receptor expression. Furthermore, Ni-NTA liposomes containing doxorubicin were used to screen for the ability of antibodies to confer target-specific cytotoxicity. Using an anti-ErbB2 single chain Fv (scFv) (F5) antibody, cytotoxicity could be conferred to ErbB2-overexpressing cells; however, a poly(ethylene glycol)-linked lipid (DSPE-PEG-NTA-Ni) was necessary to allow for efficient loading of the drug and to reduce nonspecific drug leakage during the course of the assay.
The CLIA method we describe here represents a rapid, sensitive and robust assay for the identification and characterization of tumor-specific antibodies capable of high drug-delivery efficiency when conjugated to liposomal nanocarriers.
The protective antigen (PA83) of Bacillus anthracis is integral to the mechanism of anthrax toxicity. We have isolated a human single-chain Fv antibody fragment (scFv) that blocks binding of a fluorescently tagged protective antigen (PA) moiety to cell surface receptors. Several phage-displayed scFv were isolated from a naive library biopanned against PA83. Soluble, monomeric scFv were characterized for affinity and screened for their capacity to disrupt receptor-mediated binding of PA. Four unique scFv bound to PA83, as determined by surface plasmon resonance, the tightest binder exhibiting a Kd of 50 nM. Two scFv had similar affinities for natural PA83 and a novel, recombinant, 32-kDa carboxy-terminal PA fragment (PA32). Binding of scFv to green fluorescent protein fused to the amino-terminal 32-kDa fragment of B. anthracis edema factor, EGFP-EF32, was used to confirm specificity. Fusion of EGFP to PA32 facilitated development of a novel flow cytometric assay that showed that one of the scFv disrupted PA receptor binding. This method can now be used as a rapid assay for small molecule inhibitors of PA binding to cell receptors. The combined data presented suggest the potential utility of human scFv as prophylactics against anthrax poisoning. Moreover, recombinant PA32 may also be useful as a therapeutic agent to compete with anthrax toxins for cellular receptors during active infection.