Stabilisation of the Fc fragment of human IgG1 by engineered intradomain disulfide bonds.
ABSTRACT: We report the stabilization of the human IgG1 Fc fragment by engineered intradomain disulfide bonds. One of these bonds, which connects the N-terminus of the CH3 domain with the F-strand, led to an increase of the melting temperature of this domain by 10°C as compared to the CH3 domain in the context of the wild-type Fc region. Another engineered disulfide bond, which connects the BC loop of the CH3 domain with the D-strand, resulted in an increase of T(m) of 5°C. Combined in one molecule, both intradomain disulfide bonds led to an increase of the T(m) of about 15°C. All of these mutations had no impact on the thermal stability of the CH2 domain. Importantly, the binding of neonatal Fc receptor was also not influenced by the mutations. Overall, the stabilized CH3 domains described in this report provide an excellent basic scaffold for the engineering of Fc fragments for antigen-binding or other desired additional or improved properties. Additionally, we have introduced the intradomain disulfide bonds into an IgG Fc fragment engineered in C-terminal loops of the CH3 domain for binding to Her2/neu, and observed an increase of the T(m) of the CH3 domain for 7.5°C for CysP4, 15.5°C for CysP2 and 19°C for the CysP2 and CysP4 disulfide bonds combined in one molecule.
Project description:Therapeutic monoclonal antibodies and Fc-fusion proteins containing antibody Fc fragment may tend to destabilize (e.g. unfold and aggregate), which leads to loss of functions and increase of adverse risks. Although engineering of an additional disulfide bond has been performed in Fc or Fc domains for optimization, the relationships between introduced disulfide bond and alteration of the stability, aggregation propensity and function were still unclear and should be addressed for achievement of better therapeutic outcome. Here, we constructed three human IgG1 Fc mutants including FcCH2-s-s- (one engineered disulfide bond in CH2 domain), FcCH3-s-s- (one engineered disulfide bond in CH3 domain), and FcCH3-s-s- CH2-s-s- (two engineered disulfide bonds in CH2 and CH3 domains, respectively) for evaluation. As expected, each mutated domain shows obviously increased stability during thermo-induced unfolding, and FcCH3-s-s- CH2-s-s- is most thermo-stable among wildtype Fc (wtFc) and three mutants. The order of overall stability against denaturant is FcCH3-s-s- CH2-s-s- > FcCH2-s-s- > FcCH3-s-s- > wtFc. Then the aggregation propensity was compared among these four proteins. Under conditions of incubation at 60 °C, their aggregation resistance is in the order of FcCH3-s-s- CH2-s-s- > FcCH2-s-s- > FcCH3-s-s- ? wtFc. In contrast, the order is FcCH3-s-s- CH2-s-s- > FcCH3-s-s- > FcCH2-s-s- ? wtFc under acidic conditions. In addition, the Fc-mediated functions are not obviously affected by engineered disulfide bond. Our results give a comprehensive elucidation of structural and functional effects caused by additional disulfide bonds in the Fc fragment, which is important for Fc engineering toward the desired clinical performance.
Project description:The LDL receptor internalizes circulating LDL and VLDL particles for degradation. Its extracellular binding domain contains ten (seven LA and three EGF) cysteine-rich modules, each bearing three disulfide bonds. Despite the enormous number of disulfide combinations possible, LDLR oxidative folding leads to a single native species with 30 unique intradomain disulfides. Previous folding studies of the LDLR have shown that non native disulfides are initially formed that lead to compact species. Accordingly, the folding of the LDLR has been described as a "coordinated nonvectorial" reaction, and it has been proposed that early compaction funnels the reaction toward the native structure. Here we analyze the oxidative folding of LA4 and LA5, the modules critical for ApoE binding, isolated and in the LA45 tandem. Compared to LA5, LA4 folding is slow and inefficient, resembling that of LA5 disease-linked mutants. Without Ca++, it leads to a mixture of many two-disulfide scrambled species and, with Ca++, to the native form plus two three-disulfide intermediates. The folding of the LA45 tandem seems to recapitulate that of the individual repeats. Importantly, although the folding of the LA45 tandem takes place through formation of scrambled isomers, no interdomain disulfides are detected, i.e. the two adjacent modules fold independently without the assistance of interdomain covalent interactions. Reduction of incredibly large disulfide combinatorial spaces, such as that in the LDLR, by intradomain confinement of disulfide bond formation might be also essential for the efficient folding of other homologous disulfide-rich receptors.
Project description:Most of the therapeutic antibodies approved for clinical use are full-size IgG1 molecules. The interaction of the IgG1 Fc with the neonatal Fc receptor (FcRn) plays a critical role in maintaining their long half-life. We have hypothesized that isolated Fc domains could be engineered to functionally mimic full-size IgG1 (nanoantibodies) but with decreased (10-fold) size. Here, we report for the first time the successful generation of a soluble, monomeric CH3 domain (mCH3). In contrast to the wild-type dimeric CH3, the mCH3 exhibited pH-dependent binding to FcRn similar to that of Fc. The binding free energy of mCH3 to FcRn was higher than that of isolated CH2 but lower than that of Fc. Therefore, CH3 may contribute a larger portion of the free energy of binding to FcRn than CH2. A fusion protein of mCH3 with an engineered antibody domain (m36.4) also bound to FcRn in a pH-dependent fashion and exhibited significantly higher neutralizing activity against HIV-1 than m36.4-Fc fusion proteins. The m36.4-mCH3 fusion protein was monomeric, stable, soluble, and expressed at a high level in Escherichia coli. We also found that engineering an additional disulfide bond in mCH3 remarkably increased its thermal stability, whereas the FcRn binding was not affected. These data suggest that mCH3 could not only help in the exploration of the dual mechanisms of the CH3 contribution to Fc functions (dimerization and FcRn interactions) but could also be used for the development of candidate therapeutics with optimized half-life, enhanced tissue penetration, access to sterically restricted binding sites, and increased therapeutic efficacy.
Project description:The monospecific and bivalent characteristics of naturally occurring immunoglobulin G (IgG) antibodies depend on homodimerization of the fragment crystallizable (Fc) regions of two identical heavy chains (HCs) and the subsequent assembly of two identical light chains (LCs) via disulfide linkages between each HC and LC. Immunoglobulin Fc heterodimers have been engineered through modifications to the CH3 domain interface, with different mutations on each domain such that the engineered Fc fragments, carrying the CH3 variant pair, preferentially form heterodimers rather than homodimers. Many research groups have adopted different strategies to generate Fc heterodimers, with the goal of high heterodimerization yield, while retaining biophysical and biological properties of the wild-type Fc. Based on their ability to enforce heterodimerization between the two different HCs, the established Fc heterodimers have been extensively exploited as a scaffold to generate bispecific antibodies (bsAbs) in full-length IgG and IgG-like formats. These have many of the favorable properties of natural IgG antibodies, such as high stability, long serum half-life, low immunogenicity, and immune effector functions. As of July 2016, more than seven heterodimeric Fc-based IgG-format bsAbs are being evaluated in clinical trials. In addition to bsAbs, heterodimeric Fc technology is very promising for the generation of Fc-fused proteins and peptides, as well as cytokines (immunocytokines), which can present the fusion partners in the natural monomeric or heterodimeric form rather than the artificial homodimeric form with wild-type Fc. Here, we present relevant concepts and strategies for the generation of heterodimeric Fc proteins, and their application in the development of bsAbs in diverse formats for optimal biological activity. In addition, we describe wild-type Fc-fused monomeric and heterodimeric proteins, along with the difficulties associated with their preparations, and discuss the use of heterodimeric Fc as an alternative scaffold of wild-type Fc for naturally monomeric or heterodimeric proteins, to create Fc-fusion proteins with novel therapeutic modality.
Project description:Immunoglobulin Fc heterodimers, which are useful scaffolds for the generation of bispecific antibodies, have been mostly generated through structure-based rational design methods that introduce asymmetric mutations into the CH3 homodimeric interface to favor heterodimeric Fc formation. Here, we report an approach to generate heterodimeric Fc variants through directed evolution combined with yeast surface display. We developed a combinatorial heterodimeric Fc library display system by mating two haploid yeast cell lines, one haploid cell line displayed an Fc chain library (displayed FcCH3A) with mutations in one CH3 domain (CH3A) on the yeast cell surface, and the other cell line secreted an Fc chain library (secreted FcCH3B) with mutations in the other CH3 domain (CH3B). In the mated cells, secreted FcCH3B is displayed on the cell surface through heterodimerization with the displayed FcCH3A, the detection of which enabled us to screen the library for heterodimeric Fc variants. We constructed combinatorial heterodimeric Fc libraries with simultaneous mutations in the homodimer-favoring electrostatic interaction pairs K370-E357/S364 or D399-K392/K409 at the CH3 domain interface. High-throughput screening of the libraries using flow cytometry yielded heterodimeric Fc variants with heterodimer-favoring CH3 domain interface mutation pairs, some of them showed high heterodimerization yields (~80-90%) with previously unidentified CH3 domain interface mutation pairs, such as hydrogen bonds and cation-? interactions. Our study provides a new approach for engineering Fc heterodimers that could be used to engineer other heterodimeric protein-protein interactions through directed evolution combined with yeast surface display.
Project description:Monoclonal antibodies, fusion proteins including the immunoglobulin fragment c (Ig Fc) CH2-CH3 domains, and engineered antibodies are prominent representatives of an important class of drugs and drug candidates, which are referred to as biotherapeutics or biopharmaceuticals. These recombinant proteins are highly heterogeneous due to their glycosylation pattern. In addition, enzyme-independent reactions, like deamidation, dehydration, and oxidation of sensitive side chains, may contribute to their heterogeneity in a minor amount. To investigate the biological impact of a spontaneous chemical modification, especially if found to be recurrent in a biotherapeutic, it would be necessary to reproduce it in a homogeneous manner. Herein, we undertook an explorative study towards the chemical synthesis of the IgG1 Fc CH3 domain, which has been shown to undergo spontaneous changes like succinimide formation and methionine oxidation. We used Fmoc-solid-phase peptide synthesis (SPPS) and native chemical ligation (NCL) to test the accessibility of large fragments of the IgG1 Fc CH3 domain. In general, the incorporation of pseudoproline dipeptides improved the quality of the crude peptide precursors; however, sequences larger than 44 residues could not be achieved by standard stepwise elongation with Fmoc-SPPS. In contrast, the application of NCL with cysteine residues, which were either native or introduced ad hoc, allowed the assembly of the C-terminal IgG1 Fc CH3 sequence 371 to 450. The syntheses reported here show advantages and limitations of the chemical approaches chosen for the preparation of the synthetic IgG1 Fc CH3 domain and will guide future plans towards the synthesis of both the native and selectively modified full-length domain.
Project description:Bispecific antibodies provide an efficient tool for combinational clinical therapy. Here we have engineered a heterodimeric Fc for bispecific antibodies production by combining the knob-into-hole and electrostatic steering strategies where a bulky hydrophobic residue Phe405 of the IgG CH3 interface is mutated to a charged residue Lys and Lys409 of the corresponding CH3 domain is mutated to Ala. The crystal structure of this Fc heterodimer solved here at 2.7Å resolution revealed how these two mutations resulted a complementary binding interface and explained why F405K mutation could effectively inhibit Fc homodimer formation during protein expression. An anti-HER2 bispecific antibody derived from trastuzumab and pertuzumab was generated by this heterodimeric Fc. It showed comparable or improved efficacy than the combination of trastuzumab and pertuzumab in inhibiting proliferation of cancer cells in vitro and in vivo. Overall this study shows that the heterodimeric Fc engineered here provides an efficient platform for generating active bispecific antibody for cancer treatment.
Project description:Proteins with similar crystal structures can have dissimilar rates of substrate binding and catalysis. Here we used molecular dynamics simulations and biochemical analysis to determine the role of intradomain and interdomain motions in conferring distinct activation rates to two G? proteins, G?(i1) and GPA1. Despite high structural similarity, GPA1 can activate itself without a receptor, whereas G?(i1) cannot. We found that motions in these proteins vary greatly in type and frequency. Whereas motion is greatest in the Ras domain of G?(i1), it is greatest in helices ?A and ?B from the helical domain of GPA1. Using protein chimeras, we show that helix ?A from GPA1 is sufficient to confer rapid activation to G?(i1). G?(i1) has less intradomain motion than GPA1 and instead displays interdomain displacement resembling that observed in a receptor-heterotrimer crystal complex. Thus, structurally similar proteins can have distinct atomic motions that confer distinct activation mechanisms.
Project description:A 3-ns molecular dynamics simulation in explicit solvent was performed to examine the inter- and intradomain motions of the two-domain enzyme yeast phosphoglycerate kinase without the presence of substrates. To elucidate contributions from individual domains, simulations were carried out on the complete enzyme as well as on each isolated domain. The enzyme is known to undergo a hinge-bending type of motion as it cycles from an open to a closed conformation to allow the phosphoryl transfer occur. Analysis of the correlation of atomic movements during the simulations confirms hinge bending in the nanosecond timescale: the two domains of the complete enzyme exhibit rigid body motions anticorrelated with respect to each other. The correlation of the intradomain motions of both domains converges, yielding a distinct correlation map in the enzyme. In the isolated domain simulations-in which interdomain interactions cannot occur-the correlation of domain motions no longer converges and shows a very small correlation during the same simulation time. This result points to the importance of interdomain contacts in the overall dynamics of the protein. The secondary structure elements responsible for interdomain contacts are also discussed.
Project description:Interdomain interactions between the CH3 domains of antibody heavy chains are the first step in antibody assembly and are of prime importance for maintaining the native structure of IgG. For human IgG4 it was shown that CH3-CH3 interactions are weak, resulting in the potential for half-molecule exchange ("Fab arm exchange"). Here we systematically investigated non-covalent interchain interactions for CH3 domains in the other human subclasses, including polymorphisms (allotypes), using real-time monitoring of Fab arm exchange with a FRET-based kinetic assay. We identified structural variation between human IgG subclasses and allotypes at three amino acid positions (Lys/Asn-392, Val/Met-397, Lys/Arg-409) to alter the strength of inter-domain interactions by >6 orders of magnitude. Each substitution affected the interactions independent from the other substitutions in terms of affinity, but the enthalpic and entropic contributions were non-additive, suggesting a complex interplay. Allotypic variation in IgG3 resulted in widely different CH3 interaction strengths that were even weaker for IgG3 than for IgG4 in the case of allotype G3m(c3c5*/6,24*), whereas G3m(s*/15*) was equally stable to IgG1. These interactions are sufficiently strong to maintain the structural integrity of IgG1 during its normal life span; for IgG2 and IgG3 the inter-heavy chain disulfide bonds are essential to prevent half-molecule dissociation, whereas the labile hinge disulfide bonds favor half-molecule exchange in vivo for IgG4.