Small-angle x-ray scattering screening complements conventional biophysical analysis: comparative structural and biophysical analysis of monoclonal antibodies IgG1, IgG2, and IgG4.
ABSTRACT: A crucial step in the development of therapeutic monoclonal antibodies is the selection of robust pharmaceutical candidates and screening of efficacious protein formulations to increase the resistance toward physicochemical degradation and aggregation during processing and storage. Here, we introduce small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) to characterize antibody solution behavior, which strongly complements conventional biophysical analysis. First, we apply a variety of conventional biophysical techniques for the evaluation of structural, conformational, and colloidal stability and report a systematic comparison between designed humanized IgG1, IgG2, and IgG4 with identical variable regions. Then, the high information content of SAXS data enables sensitive detection of structural differences between three IgG subclasses at neutral pH and rapid formation of dimers of IgG2 and IgG4 at low pH. We reveal subclass-specific variation in intermolecular repulsion already at low and medium protein concentrations, which explains the observed improved stability of IgG1 with respect to aggregation. We show how excipients dramatically influence such repulsive effects, hence demonstrating the potential application of extensive SAXS screening in antibody selection, eventual engineering, and formulation development.
Project description:Engineering of fragment crystallizable (Fc) domains of therapeutic immunoglobulin (IgG) antibodies to eliminate their immune effector functions while retaining other Fc characteristics has numerous applications, including blocking antigens on Fc gamma (Fc?) receptor-expressing immune cells. We previously reported on a human IgG2 variant termed IgG2? with barely detectable activity in antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity, phagocytosis, complement activity, and Fc? receptor binding assays. Here, we extend that work to IgG1 and IgG4 antibodies, alternative subtypes which may offer advantages over IgG2 antibodies. In several in vitro and in vivo assays, the IgG1? and IgG4? variants showed equal or even lower Fc-related activities than the corresponding IgG2? variant. In particular, IgG1? and IgG4? variants demonstrate complete lack of effector function as measured by antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity, complement-dependent cytotoxicity, antibody-dependent cellular phagocytosis, and in vivo T-cell activation. The IgG1? and IgG4? variants showed acceptable solubility and stability, and typical human IgG1 pharmacokinetic profiles in human FcRn-transgenic mice and cynomolgus monkeys. In silico T-cell epitope analyses predict a lack of immunogenicity in humans. Finally, crystal structures and simulations of the IgG1? and IgG4? Fc domains can explain the lack of Fc-mediated immune functions. These variants show promise for use in those therapeutic antibodies and Fc fusions for which the Fc domain should be immunologically "silent".
Project description:Human IgG2 antibody displays distinct therapeutically-useful properties compared with the IgG1, IgG3, and IgG4 antibody subclasses. IgG2 is the second most abundant IgG subclass, being able to bind human Fc?RII/Fc?RIII but not to Fc?RI or complement C1q. Structural information on IgG2 is limited by the absence of a full-length crystal structure for this. To this end, we determined the solution structure of human myeloma IgG2 by atomistic X-ray and neutron-scattering modeling. Analytical ultracentrifugation disclosed that IgG2 is monomeric with a sedimentation coefficient (s 20, w 0) of 7.2 S. IgG2 dimer formation was ?5% and independent of the buffer conditions. Small-angle X-ray scattering in a range of NaCl concentrations and in light and heavy water revealed that the X-ray radius of gyration (Rg ) is 5.2-5.4 nm, after allowing for radiation damage at higher concentrations, and that the neutron Rg value of 5.0 nm remained unchanged in all conditions. The X-ray and neutron distance distribution curves (P(r)) revealed two peaks, M1 and M2, that were unchanged in different buffers. The creation of >123,000 physically-realistic atomistic models by Monte Carlo simulations for joint X-ray and neutron-scattering curve fits, constrained by the requirement of correct disulfide bridges in the hinge, resulted in the determination of symmetric Y-shaped IgG2 structures. These molecular structures were distinct from those for asymmetric IgG1 and asymmetric and symmetric IgG4 and were attributable to the four hinge disulfides. Our IgG2 structures rationalize the existence of the human IgG1, IgG2, and IgG4 subclasses and explain the receptor-binding functions of IgG2.
Project description:Understanding the underlying mechanisms of Fc aggregation is an important prerequisite for developing stable and efficacious antibody-based therapeutics. In our study, high resolution two-dimensional nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) was employed to probe structural changes in the IgG1 Fc. A series of (1)H-(15)N heteronuclear single-quantum correlation NMR spectra were collected between pH 2.5 and 4.7 to assess whether unfolding of C(H)2 domains precedes that of C(H)3 domains. The same pH range was subsequently screened in Fc aggregation experiments that utilized molecules of IgG1 and IgG2 subclasses with varying levels of C(H)2 glycosylation. In addition, differential scanning calorimetry data were collected over a pH range of 3-7 to assess changes in C(H)2 and C(H)3 thermostability. As a result, compelling evidence was gathered that emphasizes the importance of C(H)2 stability in determining the rate and extent of Fc aggregation. In particular, we found that Fc domains of the IgG1 subclass have a lower propensity to aggregate compared with those of the IgG2 subclass. Our data for glycosylated, partially deglycosylated, and fully deglycosylated molecules further revealed the criticality of C(H)2 glycans in modulating Fc aggregation. These findings provide important insights into the stability of Fc-based therapeutics and promote better understanding of their acid-induced aggregation process.
Project description:A striking feature of lymphatic filariasis (LF) is the clinical heterogeneity among exposed individuals. While endemic normals (EN) remain free of infection despite constant exposure to the infective larvae, a small group of patients, generally microfilaria free (Mf-) develops severe pathology (CP) such as lymphedema or hydrocele. Another group of infected individuals remains asymptomatic while expressing large amounts of microfilariae (Mf+). This Mf+ group is characterized by an immune-suppressed profile with high levels of anti-inflammatory cytokines and elevated IgG4. This particular immunoglobulin is unable to activate the complement. The complement system plays a critical role in both innate and adaptive immunity. However, its importance and regulation during LF is not fully understood. Using affinity chromatography and solid-phase-enzyme-immunoassays, we investigated the ability of antibody isotypes from LF clinical groups to bind C1q, the first element of the complement's classical pathway. The results indicate that while C1q is similarly expressed in all LF clinical groups, IgG1-2 in the plasma from Mf+ individuals presented significantly lower affinity to C1q compared to EN, Mf-, and CP. In addition, selective depletion of IgG4 significantly enhanced the affinity of IgG1-2 to C1q in Mf+ individuals. Strikingly, no effect was seen on the ability of IgG3 to bind C1q in the same conditions. More interestingly, papain-generated IgG4-Fc-portions interacted with Fc portions of IgG1-2 as revealed by far-western blot analysis. These data suggest that while being unable to bind C1q, IgG4 inhibits the first steps of the complement classical pathway by IgG1 or IgG2 via Fc-Fc interactions.
Project description:Aggregation of monoclonal antibodies is often a multi-step process involving structural alterations in monomeric proteins and subsequent formation of soluble or insoluble oligomers. The role of local conformational stability and dynamics of native and/or partially altered structures in determining the aggregation propensity of monoclonal antibodies, however, is not well understood. Here, we investigate the role of conformational stability and dynamics of regions with distinct solvent exposure in determining the aggregation propensity of an IgG1 and IgG2 monoclonal antibody. The temperatures employed span the pre-unfolding range (10-40°C) and the onset temperatures (T onset ) for exposure of apolar residues (? 50°C), alterations in secondary structures (? 60°C) and initiation of visible aggregate formation (? 60°C). Solvent-exposed regions were found to precede solvent-shielded regions in an initiation of aggregation for both proteins. Such a process was observed upon alterations in overall tertiary structure while retaining the secondary structures in both the proteins. In addition, a greater dynamic nature of solvent-shielded regions in potential intermediates of IgG1 and the improved conformational stability increased its resistance to aggregation when compared to IgG2. These results suggest that local conformational stability and fluctuations of partially altered structures can influence the aggregation propensity of immunoglobulins.
Project description:The direct induction of cell death, or apoptosis, in target cells is one of the effector mechanisms for the anti CD20 antibody Rituximab. Here we provide evidence that Rituximab's apoptotic ability is linked to the antibody IgG isotype. Reformatting Rituximab from the standard human IgG1 heavy chain into IgG2 or IgG4 boosted in vitro apoptosis induction in the Burkitt's lymphoma B cell line Ramos five and four-fold respectively. The determinants for this behavior are located in the hinge region and CH1 domain of the heavy chain. By transplanting individual IgG2 or IgG4 specific amino acid residues onto otherwise IgG1 like backbones, thereby creating hybrid antibodies, the same enhancement of apoptosis induction could be achieved. The cysteines at position 131 of the CH1 domain and 219 in the hinge region, involved in IgG2 and IgG4 disulfide formation, were found to be of particular structural importance. Our data indicates that the hybrid antibodies possess a different CD20 binding mode than standard Rituximab, which appears to be key in enhancing apoptotic ability. The presented work opens up an interesting engineering route for enhancing the direct cytotoxic ability of therapeutic antibodies.
Project description:Nivolumab, an anti-programmed death (PD)1 IgG4 antibody, has shown notable success as a cancer treatment. Here, we report that nivolumab was susceptible to aggregation during manufacturing, particularly in routine purification steps. Our experimental results showed that exposure to low pH caused aggregation of nivolumab, and the Fc was primarily responsible for an acid-induced unfolding phenomenon. To compare the intrinsic propensity of acid-induced aggregation for other IgGs subclasses, tocilizumab (IgG1), panitumumab (IgG2) and atezolizumab (aglyco-IgG1) were also investigated. The accurate pH threshold of acid-induced aggregation for individual IgG Fc subclasses was identified and ranked as: IgG1?<?aglyco-IgG1?<?IgG2?<?IgG4. This result was cross-validated by thermostability and conformation analysis. We also assessed the effect of several protein stabilizers on nivolumab, and found mannitol ameliorated the acid-induced aggregation of the molecule. Our results provide valuable insight into downstream manufacturing process development, especially for immune checkpoint modulating molecules with a human IgG4 backbone.
Project description:Antibodies raised in Indian rhesus macaques [Macaca mulatta (MM)] in many preclinical vaccine studies are often evaluated in vitro for titer, antigen-recognition breadth, neutralization potency, and/or effector function, and in vivo for potential associations with protection. However, despite reliance on this key animal model in translation of promising candidate vaccines for evaluation in first in man studies, little is known about the properties of MM immunoglobulin G (IgG) subclasses and how they may compare to human IgG subclasses. Here, we evaluate the binding of MM IgG1, IgG2, IgG3, and IgG4 to human Fc gamma receptors (Fc?R) and their ability to elicit the effector functions of human Fc?R-bearing cells, and unlike in humans, find a notable absence of subclasses with dramatically silent Fc regions. Biophysical, in vitro, and in vivo characterization revealed MM IgG1 exhibited the greatest effector function activity followed by IgG2 and then IgG3/4. These findings in rhesus are in contrast with the canonical understanding that IgG1 and IgG3 dominate effector function in humans, indicating that subclass-switching profiles observed in rhesus studies may not strictly recapitulate those observed in human vaccine studies.
Project description:Preclinical studies suggested that IgG2c isotype may specifically impair skeletal muscle insulin sensitivity in mice. In this study we investigated the association between serum levels of the four IgG subclasses and insulin sensitivity in non-diabetic individuals. Total IgG, IgG1, IgG2, IgG3 and IgG4 levels were measured in 262 subjects. Whole-body insulin sensitivity was assessed by euglycemic hyperinsulinemic clamp. IgG2 levels were positively correlated with BMI, waist circumference, 2-h post-load glucose levels and complement C3. Serum IgG2, but not IgG1, IgG3 and IgG4 levels were negatively correlated with whole-body insulin sensitivity (r?=?-0.17; P?=?0.003) and muscle insulin sensitivity index (r?=?-0.16; P?=?0.03) after adjustment for age and gender. No significant correlation was found between IgG2 levels and hepatic insulin resistance assessed by HOMA-IR and liver IR index. In a multivariable regression analysis including variables known to affect insulin sensitivity such as age, gender, BMI, smoking, lipids, inflammatory markers, fasting and 2-h post-load glucose levels, IgG2 levels were independently associated with insulin-stimulated glucose disposal (??=?-0.115, 95% CI: -0.541 to -0.024; P?=?0.03). These data demonstrate the independent association between higher levels of IgG2 and decreased whole-body insulin sensitivity, thus confirming in humans the animal-based evidence indicating the pathogenic role of IgG2 in insulin resistance.
Project description:Pemphigus and pemphigoid diseases are organ-specific autoimmune diseases of the skin and/or mucous membranes, which are caused by autoantibodies targeting structural proteins of the skin. In other autoimmune diseases, a high prevalence of primary antibody deficiencies was noted. Conversely, a high prevalence of autoimmune diseases is reported in patients with primary antibody deficiencies. With the exception of one study, pointing toward a decrease of IgG in pemphigus patients, with a relative enrichment of IgG4, serum immunoglobulin (Ig) concentrations had not been studied in pemphigus and pemphigoid. Hence, we here aimed to investigate serum concentrations of IgM, IgA, IgG, and IgG1–4 in pemphigus and pemphigoid patients, as well as in healthy controls. Serum Ig concentrations were determined by ELISA in 105 healthy controls, 100 pemphigus vulgaris (PV), 100 pemphigus foliaceus, 99 bullous pemphigoid (BP), and 55 linear IgA bullous dermatosis (LAD) patients. In healthy controls, age had a significant impact on Ig serum concentrations: In controls at ages of 69 years or older, IgM and IgG were decreased, while all other Ig, except IgA and IgG4, were increased. When stratified by sex, lower IgM concentrations were observed in males. When corrected for age and/or sex, and compared to controls, an increase in serum IgA was noted in LAD. In almost all patient cohorts, an increase in IgG1 and IgG4 was observed, while a decrease in IgG2 or IgG3 was seen in BP or PV patients. This points toward a possible association of BP with IgG2 deficiency and warrants evaluation of IgG2 in BP patients prior to immunosuppressive therapy.