Hydrogen/deuterium exchange mass spectrometry applied to IL-23 interaction characteristics: potential impact for therapeutics.
ABSTRACT: IL-23 is an important therapeutic target for the treatment of inflammatory diseases. Adnectins are targeted protein therapeutics that are derived from domain III of human fibronectin and have a similar protein scaffold to antibodies. Adnectin 2 was found to bind to IL-23 and compete with the IL-23/IL-23R interaction, posing a potential protein therapeutic. Hydrogen/deuterium exchange mass spectrometry and computational methods were applied to probe the binding interactions between IL-23 and Adnectin 2 and to determine the correlation between the two orthogonal methods. This review summarizes the current structural knowledge about IL-23 and focuses on the applicability of hydrogen/deuterium exchange mass spectrometry to investigate the higher order structure of proteins, which plays an important role in the discovery of new and improved biotherapeutics.
Project description:The precise and unambiguous elucidation and characterization of interactions between a high affinity recognition entity and its cognate protein provides important insights for the design and development of drugs with optimized properties and efficacy. In oncology, one important target protein has been shown to be the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) through the development of therapeutic anticancer antibodies that are selective inhibitors of EGFR activity. More recently, smaller protein derived from the 10th type III domain of human fibronectin termed an adnectin has also been shown to inhibit EGFR in clinical studies. The mechanism of EGFR inhibition by either an adnectin or an antibody results from specific binding of the high affinity protein to the extracellular portion of EGFR (exEGFR) in a manner that prevents phosphorylation of the intracellular kinase domain of the receptor and thereby blocks intracellular signaling. Here, the structural changes induced upon binding were studied by probing the solution conformations of full length exEGFR alone and bound to a cognate adnectin through hydrogen/deuterium exchange mass spectrometry (HDX MS). The effects of binding in solution were identified and compared with the structure of a bound complex determined by X-ray crystallography.?
Project description:Higher-order structure (HOS) is a crucial determinant for the biological functions and quality attributes of protein therapeutics. Mass spectrometry (MS)-based protein footprinting approaches play an important role in elucidating the relationship between protein biophysical properties and structure. Here, we describe the use of a combined method including hydrogen-deuterium exchange (HDX), fast photochemical oxidation of proteins (FPOP), and site-specific carboxyl group footprinting to investigate the HOS of protein and protein complexes. The work focuses on implementing complementary solution-phase footprinting approaches that differ in time scale, specificity for protein residue side chains vs backbone as well as selectivity for different residue types to map integratively the epitope of human interleukin-6 receptor (IL-6R) for two adnectins with distinct affinities (Kd, Adnectin1 ? 6.2 pM vs Kd, Adnectin2 ? 46 nM). Furthermore, the study evaluates the resultant conformation/dynamic change of IL-6R. The suggested epitope, which is conserved for adnectin1 and adnectin2 binding, is a flexible loop that connects two ?-strands in the cytokine-binding domain (DII) of IL-6R. We also found that adnectin1, the more strongly binding ligand, induces structural perturbations on two unstructured loops that are distally located beyond the epitope. Those changes are either attenuated or not detected for the case of adnectin2 binding. In addition to providing credibility in epitope determination, utilization of those combined approaches reveals the structural effects that can differentiate protein therapeutics with apparently similar biophysical properties.
Project description:Adnectins™ are a new family of therapeutic proteins based on the 10th fibronectin type III domain, and designed to bind with high affinity and specificity to therapeutically relevant targets. Adnectins share with antibody variable domains a beta-sheet sandwich fold with diversified loops, but differ from antibodies in primary sequence and have a simpler, single-domain structure without disulfide bonds. As a consequence, Adnectins bind targets with affinity and specificity as high as those of antibodies, but are easier to manipulate genetically and compatible with bacterial expression systems. Adnectins that bind macromolecular targets with nanomolar and picomolar affinity have been selected using in vitro evolution methods, including mRNA display, phage display and yeast display. CT-322, a PEGylated, anti-angiogenic Adnectin that binds vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) receptor 2 and blocks its interaction with VEGF A, C and D, is being evaluated in Phase II clinical trials for efficacy in several oncology indications.
Project description:Tumor-specific delivery of cytotoxic agents remains a challenge in cancer therapy. Antibody-drug conjugates (ADC) deliver their payloads to tumor cells that overexpress specific tumor-associated antigens-but the multi-day half-life of ADC leads to high exposure even of normal, antigen-free, tissues and thus contributes to dose-limiting toxicity. Here, we present Adnectin-drug conjugates, an alternative platform for tumor-specific delivery of cytotoxic payloads. Due to their small size (10 kDa), renal filtration eliminates Adnectins from the bloodstream within minutes to hours, ensuring low exposure to normal tissues. We used an engineered cysteine to conjugate an Adnectin that binds Glypican-3, a membrane protein overexpressed in hepatocellular carcinoma, to a cytotoxic derivative of tubulysin, with the drug-to-Adnectin ratio of 1. We demonstrate specific, nanomolar binding of this Adnectin-drug conjugate to human and murine Glypican-3; its high thermostability; its localization to target-expressing tumor cells in vitro and in vivo, its fast clearance from normal tissues and its efficacy against Glypican-3-positive mouse xenograft models.
Project description:The signaling of interleukin (IL)-23 and its receptor (IL-23R) play a crucial role in the development of cancers. However, the clinical significance of human serum soluble IL-23R (sIL-23R) and its relationship with IL-23 are still not explored in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). In our study, sIL-23R was first identified in the serum of NSCLC patients, but not in healthy controls, by proteomics. The IL-23R mRNA and protein were upregulated in NSCLC cell lines and tissues tested by quantitative PCR, western blot analysis and immunohistochemistry. The levels of sIL-23R, IL-23, and IL-17 in 195 NSCLC patients' serum were determined by ELISA, and high levels of sIL-23R were significantly associated with advanced N stage (P = .039), clinical stage (P = .007), and poor 5-year survival rate. In vitro, sIL-23R was shown binding to IL-23 and the balance could affect patients' N and T stage, overall survival, and downstream cytokine IL-17 in a potential antagonistic relationship. Although sIL-23R, IL-23, and IL-17 were all associated with poor prognosis, only the sIL-23R/IL-23 ratio (hazard ratio, 1.945; 95% confidence interval, 1.147-3.299; P = .014) was found to be an independent factor for prognosis. Therefore, we identified fragments of soluble cytokine receptor of IL-23R with affinity ability to its natural ligand IL-23 in NSCLC patients' serum. The balance between the 2 antagonists can work as a potential prognostic serum marker.
Project description:IL-23 (interleukin 23) regulates immune responses against pathogens and plays a major role in the differentiation and maintenance of TH17 cells and the development of autoimmune diseases and cancer. The IL-23 receptor (IL-23R) complex consists of the unique IL-23R and the common IL-12 receptor β1 (IL-12Rβ1). Differential splicing generates antagonistic soluble IL-23R (sIL-23R) variants, which might limit IL-23-mediated immune responses. Here, ectodomain shedding of human and murine IL-23R was identified as an alternative pathway for the generation of sIL-23R. Importantly, proteolytically released sIL-23R has IL-23 binding activity. Shedding of IL-23R was induced by stimulation with the phorbol ester phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate (PMA), but not by ionomycin. PMA-induced shedding was abrogated by an ADAM (A disintegrin and metalloprotease) 10 and 17 selective inhibitor, but not by an ADAM10 selective inhibitor. ADAM17-deficient but not ADAM10-deficient HEK293 cells failed to shed IL-23R after PMA stimulation, demonstrating that ADAM17 but not ADAM10 cleaves the IL-23R. Constitutive shedding was, however, inhibited by an ADAM10 selective inhibitor. Using deletions and specific amino acid residue exchanges, we identified critical determinants of ectodomain shedding within the stalk region of the IL-23R. Finally, interaction studies identified domains 1 and 3 of the IL-23R as the main ADAM17 binding sites. In summary, we describe human and murine IL-23R as novel targets for protein ectodomain shedding by ADAM10 and ADAM17.
Project description:Signaling of interleukin 23 (IL-23) via the IL-23 receptor (IL-23R) and the shared IL-12 receptor ?1 (IL-12R?1) controls innate and adaptive immune responses and is involved in the differentiation and expansion of IL-17-producing CD4(+) T helper (TH17) cells. Activation of signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3) appears to be the major signaling pathway of IL-23, and STAT binding sites were predicted in the IL-23R but not in the IL-12R?1 chain. Using site-directed mutagenesis and deletion variants of the murine and human IL-23R, we showed that the predicted STAT binding sites (pYXXQ; including Tyr-504 and Tyr-626 in murine IL-23R and Tyr-484 and Tyr-611 in human IL-23R) mediated STAT3 activation. Furthermore, we identified two uncommon STAT3 binding/activation sites within the murine IL-23R. First, the murine IL-23R carried the Y(542)PNFQ sequence, which acts as an unusual Src homology 2 (SH2) domain-binding protein activation site of STAT3. Second, we identified a non-canonical, phosphotyrosine-independent STAT3 activation motif within the IL-23R. A third predicted site, Tyr-416 in murine and Tyr-397 in human IL-23R, is involved in the activation of PI3K/Akt and the MAPK pathway leading to STAT3-independent proliferation of Ba/F3 cells upon stimulation with IL-23. In contrast to IL-6-induced short term STAT3 phosphorylation, cellular activation by IL-23 resulted in a slower but long term STAT3 phosphorylation, indicating that the IL-23R might not be a major target of negative feedback inhibition by suppressor of cytokine signaling (SOCS) proteins. In summary, we characterized IL-23-dependent signal transduction with a focus on STAT3 phosphorylation and identified canonical tyrosine-dependent and non-canonical tyrosine-independent STAT3 activation sites in the IL-23R.
Project description:Epitope mapping the specific residues of an antibody/antigen interaction can be used to support mechanistic interpretation, antibody optimization, and epitope novelty assessment. Thus, there is a strong need for mapping methods, particularly integrative ones. Here, we report the identification of an energetic epitope by determining the interfacial hot-spot that dominates the binding affinity for an anti-interleukin-23 (anti-IL-23) antibody by using the complementary approaches of hydrogen/deuterium exchange mass spectrometry (HDX-MS), fast photochemical oxidation of proteins (FPOP), alanine shave mutagenesis, and binding analytics. Five peptide regions on IL-23 with reduced backbone amide solvent accessibility upon antibody binding were identified by HDX-MS, and five different peptides over the same three regions were identified by FPOP. In addition, FPOP analysis at the residue level reveals potentially key interacting residues. Mutants with 3-5 residues changed to alanine have no measurable differences from wild-type IL-23 except for binding of and signaling blockade by the 7B7 anti-IL-23 antibody. The M5 IL-23 mutant differs from wild-type by five alanine substitutions and represents the dominant energetic epitope of 7B7. M5 shows a dramatic decrease in binding to BMS-986010 (which contains the 7B7 Fab, where Fab is fragment antigen-binding region of an antibody), yet it maintains functional activity, binding to p40 and p19 specific reagents, and maintains biophysical properties similar to wild-type IL-23 (monomeric state, thermal stability, and secondary structural features).
Project description:IL-23 plays an important role in the development of arthritis and the IL-23 receptor (IL-23R) is expressed on different types of T cells. However, it is not fully clear which IL-23R+ T cells are critical in driving T cell-mediated synovitis. We demonstrate, using knock-in IL-23R-GFP reporter (IL-23RGFP/+ ) mice, that CD4+ CCR6+ T cells and ?? T cells, but not CD8+ T cells, express the IL-23R(GFP). During early arthritis, IL-23R(GFP)+ CD4+ CCR6+ T cells, but not IL-23R(GFP)+ ?? T cells, were present in the inflamed joints. IL-23RGFP/+ mice were bred as homozygotes to obtain IL-23RGFP/GFP (IL-23R deficient/IL-23R-/- ) mice, which express GFP under the IL-23R promotor. Arthritis progression and joint damage were significantly milder in IL-23R-/- mice, which revealed less IL-17A+ cells in their lymphoid tissues. Surprisingly, IL-23R-/- mice had increased numbers of IL-23R(GFP)+ CD4+ CCR6+ and CCR7+ CD4+ CCR6+ T cells in their spleen compared to WT, and IL-23 suppressed CCR7 expression in vitro. However, IL-23R(GFP)+ CD4+ CCR6+ T cells were present in the synovium of IL-23R-/- mice at day 4. Finally, adoptive transfer experiments revealed that CD4+ CCR6+ T cells and not ?? T cells drive arthritis progression. These data suggest that IL-23R-dependent T cell-mediated synovitis is dependent on CD4+ CCR6+ T cells and not on ?? T cells.
Project description:In the tumor microenvironment, inflammatory cells and molecules influence almost every process; among them, interleukin-23 (IL-23) is a pro-inflammatory molecule that exhibits pro- or anti-tumor properties, but both activities remain poorly understood. In this study, we investigated the effect of extracellular IL-23 in IL-23 receptor-positive (IL-23R+) esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) and explored the mechanisms underlying this effect. We analyzed ESCC tumor tissues by immunohistochemical and immunofluorescence staining and found that IL-23, which was highly expressed, co-localized with Oct-4A in IL-23R+ ESCC cells. In addition, IL-23 treatment significantly increased the accumulation of CD133+ cells and activated the Wnt and Notch signaling pathways in CD133-IL-23R+ ESCC cell lines. Consistently, CD133-IL-23R+ cells pretreated with IL-23 showed stronger anti-apoptosis activity when exposed to radiation and higher survival than untreated groups. Moreover, the inhibition of Wnt/Notch signaling by a small-molecule inhibitor or siRNA abolished the effect of IL-23-induced dormancy and consequent radioresistance. Taken together, these results suggested that IL-23 facilitates radioresistance in ESCC by activating Wnt/Notch-mediated G0/1 phase arrest, and attenuating these detrimental changes by blocking the formation of dormancy may prove to be an effective pretreatment for radiotherapy. KEY MESSAGES: IL-23/IL-23R is correlated with the acquisition of stem-like potential in ESCC. CD133-IL-23R+ ESCCs acquired dormancy via IL-23. Radioresistance depends on IL-23-mediated Wnt/Notch pathway activation in vitro and vivo.