Protein engineering to target complement evasion in cancer.
ABSTRACT: The complement system is composed of soluble factors in plasma that enhance or "complement" immune-mediated killing through innate and adaptive mechanisms. Activation of complement causes recruitment of immune cells; opsonization of coated cells; and direct killing of affected cells through a membrane attack complex (MAC). Tumor cells up-regulate complement inhibitory factors - one of several strategies to evade the immune system. In many cases as the tumor progresses, dramatic increases in complement inhibitory factors are found on these cells. This review focuses on the classic complement pathway and the role of major complement inhibitory factors in cancer immune evasion as well as on how current protein engineering efforts are being employed to increase complement fixing or to reverse complement resistance leading to better therapeutic outcomes in oncology. Strategies discussed include engineering of antibodies to enhance complement fixation, antibodies that neutralize complement inhibitory proteins as well as engineered constructs that specifically target inhibition of the complement system.
Project description:Aspergillus fumigatus is an important airborne fungal pathogen and a major cause of invasive fungal infections. Susceptible individuals become infected via the inhalation of dormant conidia. If the immune system fails to clear these conidia, they will swell, germinate and grow into large hyphal structures. Neutrophils are essential effector cells for controlling A. fumigatus infection. In general, opsonization of microbial particles is crucial for efficient phagocytosis and killing by neutrophils. Although the antibodies present in human serum do bind to all fungal morphotypes, we observed no direct antibody-mediated phagocytosis of A. fumigatus. We show that opsonization, phagocytosis and killing by neutrophils of A. fumigatus is complement-dependent. Using human sera depleted of key complement components, we investigated the contribution of the different complement initiation pathways in complement activation on the fungal surface. We describe the classical complement pathway as the main initiator of complement activation on A. fumigatus swollen conidia and germ tubes. Antibodies play an important role in complement activation and efficient innate recognition, phagocytosis and killing of A. fumigatus by neutrophils.
Project description:Cytotoxic therapeutic monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) often mediate target cell-killing by eliciting immune effector functions via Fc region interactions with cellular and humoral components of the immune system. Key functions include antibody-dependent cell-mediated cytotoxicity (ADCC), antibody-dependent cellular phagocytosis (ADCP), and complement-dependent cytotoxicity (CDC). However, there has been increased appreciation that along with cell-killing functions, the induction of antibody-dependent cytokine release (ADCR) can also influence disease microenvironments and therapeutic outcomes. Historically, most Fc engineering approaches have been aimed toward modulating ADCC, ADCP, or CDC. In the present study, we describe an Fc engineering approach that, while not resulting in impaired ADCC or ADCP, profoundly affects ADCR. As such, when peripheral blood mononuclear cells are used as effector cells against mAb-opsonized tumor cells, the described mAb variants elicit a similar profile and quantity of cytokines as IgG1. In contrast, although the variants elicit similar levels of tumor cell-killing as IgG1 with macrophage effector cells, the variants do not elicit macrophage-mediated ADCR against mAb-opsonized tumor cells. This study demonstrates that Fc engineering approaches can be employed to uncouple macrophage-mediated phagocytic and subsequent cell-killing functions from cytokine release.
Project description:The complement system is a fundamental part of the innate immune system, playing a crucial role in host defense against various pathogens, such as bacteria, viruses, and fungi. Activation of complement results in production of several molecules mediating chemotaxis, opsonization, and mast cell degranulation, which can contribute to the elimination of pathogenic organisms and inflammation. Furthermore, the complement system also has regulating properties in inflammatory and immune responses. Complement activity in diseases is rather complex and may involve both aberrant expression of complement and genetic deficiencies of complement components or regulators. The skin represents an active immune organ with complex interactions between cellular components and various mediators. Complement involvement has been associated with several skin diseases, such as psoriasis, lupus erythematosus, cutaneous vasculitis, urticaria, and bullous dermatoses. Several triggers including auto-antibodies and micro-organisms can activate complement, while on the other hand complement deficiencies can contribute to impaired immune complex clearance, leading to disease. This review provides an overview of the role of complement in inflammatory skin diseases and discusses complement factors as potential new targets for therapeutic intervention.
Project description:Monoclonal antibodies (mAb) have been used as targeted treatments against cancer for more than a decade, with mixed results. Research is needed to understand mAb mechanisms of action with the goal of improving the efficacy of currently used mAbs and guiding the design of novel mAbs. While some mAb-induced tumor cell killing is a result of direct effects on tumor cell signaling, mAb opsonization of tumor cells also triggers activation of immune responses due to complement activation and engagement of antibody receptors on immune effector cells. In fact, complement has been shown to play an important role in modulating the anti-tumor activity of many mAb through complement-dependent cytotoxicity, antibody-dependent cytotoxicity, and through indirect effects by modulating the tumor microenvironment. Complement activity can have both agonistic and antagonistic effects on these processes. How the balance of such effects impacts on the clinical efficacy of mAb therapy remains unclear. In this review, we discuss the mAbs currently approved for cancer treatment and examine how complement can impact their efficacy with a focus on how this information might be used to improve the clinical efficacy of mAb treatment.
Project description:The globally significant human pathogen group A Streptococcus (GAS) sequesters the host protease plasmin to the cell surface during invasive disease initiation. Recent evidence has shown that localized plasmin activity prevents opsonization of several bacterial species by key components of the innate immune system in vitro. Here we demonstrate that plasmin at the GAS cell surface resulted in degradation of complement factor C3b, and that plasminogen acquisition is associated with a decrease in C3b opsonization and neutrophil-mediated killing in vitro. Furthermore, the ability to acquire cell surface plasmin(ogen) correlates directly with a decrease in C3b opsonization, neutrophil phagocytosis, and increased bacterial survival in a humanized plasminogen mouse model of infection. These findings demonstrate that localized plasmin(ogen) plays an important role in facilitating GAS escape from the host innate immune response and increases bacterial virulence in the early stages of infection.
Project description:Deposition of complement factors (opsonization) on nanoparticles may promote clearance from the blood by macrophages and trigger proinflammatory responses, but the mechanisms regulating the efficiency of complement activation are poorly understood. We previously demonstrated that opsonization of superparamagnetic iron oxide (SPIO) nanoworms with the third complement protein (C3) was dependent on the biomolecule corona of the nanoparticles. Here we show that natural antibodies play a critical role in C3 opsonization of SPIO nanoworms and a range of clinically approved nanopharmaceuticals. The dependency of C3 opsonization on immunoglobulin binding is almost universal and is observed regardless of the complement activation pathway. Only a few surface-bound immunoglobulin molecules are needed to trigger complement activation and opsonization. Although the total amount of plasma proteins adsorbed on nanoparticles does not determine C3 deposition efficiency, the biomolecule corona per se enhances immunoglobulin binding to all nanoparticle types. We therefore show that natural antibodies represent a link between biomolecule corona and C3 opsonization, and may determine individual complement responses to nanomedicines.
Project description:Herpes simplex virus 2 (HSV-2) is one of the most common sexually transmitted infections globally, with a very high prevalence in many countries. During HSV-2 infection, viral particles become coated with complement proteins and antibodies, both present in genital fluids, which could influence the activation of immune responses. In genital mucosa, the primary target cells for HSV-2 infection are epithelial cells, but resident immune cells, such as dendritic cells (DCs), are also infected. DCs are the activators of the ensuing immune responses directed against HSV-2, and the aim of this study was to examine the effects opsonization of HSV-2, either with complement alone or with complement and antibodies, had on the infection of immature DCs and their ability to mount inflammatory and antiviral responses. Complement opsonization of HSV-2 enhanced both the direct infection of immature DCs and their production of new infectious viral particles. The enhanced infection required activation of the complement cascade and functional complement receptor 3. Furthermore, HSV-2 infection of DCs required endocytosis of viral particles and their delivery into an acid endosomal compartment. The presence of complement in combination with HSV-1- or HSV-2-specific antibodies more or less abolished HSV-2 infection of DCs. Our results clearly demonstrate the importance of studying HSV-2 infection under conditions that ensue in vivo, i.e., conditions under which the virions are covered in complement fragments and complement fragments and antibodies, as these shape the infection and the subsequent immune response and need to be further elucidated.During HSV-2 infection, viral particles should become coated with complement proteins and antibodies, both present in genital fluids, which could influence the activation of the immune responses. The dendritic cells are activators of the immune responses directed against HSV-2, and the aim of this study was to examine the effects of complement alone or complement and antibodies on HSV-2 infection of dendritic cells and their ability to mount inflammatory and antiviral responses. Our results demonstrate that the presence of antibodies and complement in the genital environment can influence HSV-2 infection under in vitro conditions that reflect the in vivo situation. We believe that our findings are highly relevant for the understanding of HSV-2 pathogenesis.
Project description:We evaluated the resistance to complement-mediated killing of a collection of isogenic Pseudomonas aeruginosa strains expressing different antimicrobial resistance phenotypes. Only the nfxB mutant demonstrated increased susceptibility to complement compared with that for the wild-type strain. This increment was due to the overexpression of MexCD-OprJ, which led to increased C3 opsonization and a reduced ability to infect the lungs of mice. Our results show that the acquisition of antibiotic resistance may alter the interplay of P. aeruginosa with the host immune system.
Project description:Antibodies may bind to bacterial pathogens or their toxins to control infections, and their effector activity is mediated through the recruitment of complement component C1q or the engagement with Fc? receptors (Fc?Rs). For bacterial pathogens that rely on a single toxin to cause disease, immunity correlates with toxin neutralization. Most other bacterial pathogens, including <i>Staphylococcus aureus</i>, secrete numerous toxins and evolved multiple mechanisms to escape opsonization and complement killing. Several vaccine candidates targeting defined surface antigens of <i>S. aureus</i> have failed to meet clinical endpoints. It is unclear that such failures can be solely attributed to the poor selection of antibody targets. Thus far, studies to delineate antibody-mediated uptake and killing of Gram-positive pathogens remain extremely limited. Here, we exploit 3F6-hIgG1, a human monoclonal antibody that binds and neutralizes the abundant surface-exposed Staphylococcal protein A (SpA). We find that galactosylation of 3F6-hIgG1 that favors C1q recruitment is indispensable for opsonophagocytic killing of staphylococci and for protection against bloodstream infection in animals. However, the simple removal of fucosyl residues, which results in reduced C1q binding and increased engagement with Fc?R, maintains the opsonophagocytic killing and protective attributes of the antibody. We confirm these results by engineering 3F6-hIgG1 variants with biased binding toward C1q or Fc?Rs. While the therapeutic benefit of monoclonal antibodies against infectious disease agents may be debatable, the functional characterization of such antibodies represents a powerful tool for the development of correlates of protection that may guide future vaccine trials.
Project description:The prevailing view is that therapeutic antibodies deplete cells through opsonization and subsequent phagocytosis, complement-dependent lysis or antibody-dependent cellular-cytotoxicity. We used high resolution in vivo imaging to identify a new antibody-dependent cell death pathway where Kupffer cells ripped large fragments off crawling antibody-coated iNKT cells. This antibody-dependent fragmentation process resulted in lethality and depletion of crawling iNKT cells in the liver sinusoids and lung capillaries. iNKT cell depletion was Fcy-receptor dependent and required iNKT cell crawling. Blood, spleen or joint iNKT cells that did not crawl were not depleted. The antibody required high glycosylation for sufficiently strong binding of the iNKT cells to the Fc Receptors on Kupffer cells. Using an acetaminophen overdose model, this approach functionally depleted hepatic iNKT cells and affected the severity of liver injury. This study reveals a new mechanism of antibody-dependent killing in vivo and raises implications for the design of new antibodies for cancer and auto-reactive immune cells.