"Velcro" engineering of high affinity CD47 ectodomain as signal regulatory protein α (SIRPα) antagonists that enhance antibody-dependent cellular phagocytosis.
ABSTRACT: CD47 is a cell surface protein that transmits an anti-phagocytic signal, known as the "don't-eat-me" signal, to macrophages upon engaging its receptor signal regulatory protein α (SIRPα). Molecules that antagonize the CD47-SIRPα interaction by binding to CD47, such as anti-CD47 antibodies and the engineered SIRPα variant CV1, have been shown to facilitate macrophage-mediated anti-tumor responses. However, these strategies targeting CD47 are handicapped by large antigen sinks in vivo and indiscriminate cell binding due to ubiquitous expression of CD47. These factors reduce bioavailability and increase the risk of toxicity. Here, we present an alternative strategy to antagonize the CD47-SIRPα pathway by engineering high affinity CD47 variants that target SIRPα, which has restricted tissue expression. CD47 proved to be refractive to conventional affinity maturation techniques targeting its binding interface with SIRPα. Therefore, we developed a novel engineering approach, whereby we augmented the existing contact interface via N-terminal peptide extension, coined "Velcro" engineering. The high affinity variant (Velcro-CD47) bound to the two most prominent human SIRPα alleles with greatly increased affinity relative to wild-type CD47 and potently antagonized CD47 binding to SIRPα on human macrophages. Velcro-CD47 synergizes with tumor-specific monoclonal antibodies to enhance macrophage phagocytosis of tumor cells in vitro, with similar potency as CV1. Finally, Velcro-CD47 interacts specifically with a subset of myeloid-derived cells in human blood, whereas CV1 binds all myeloid, lymphoid, and erythroid populations interrogated. This is consistent with the restricted expression of SIRPα compared with CD47. Herein, we have demonstrated that "Velcro" engineering is a powerful protein-engineering tool with potential applications to other systems and that Velcro-CD47 could be an alternative adjuvant to CD47-targeting agents for cancer immunotherapy.
Project description:CD47 is a ubiquitously expressed immune checkpoint receptor that is often upregulated in cancer. CD47 interacts with its counter-receptor SIRPα on macrophages and other myeloid cells to inhibit cancer cell phagocytosis and drive immune evasion. To overcome tolerability and "antigen sink" issues arising from widespread CD47 expression, we generated dual-targeting bispecific antibodies that selectively block the CD47-SIRPα interaction on malignant cells expressing a specific tumor-associated antigen; e.g., CD19 or mesothelin. These bispecific κλ bodies are fully human, native IgG1 molecules, combining tumor targeting and selective CD47 blockade with immune activating mechanisms mediated by the Fc portion of the antibody. CD47-neutralizing κλ bodies efficiently kill cancer cells in vitro and in vivo but interact only weakly with healthy cells expressing physiological levels of CD47. Accordingly, a κλ body administered to non-human primates showed a typical IgG pharmacokinetic profile and was well tolerated. Importantly, κλ bodies preserve their tumoricidal capabilities in the presence of a CD47 antigen sink. Thus, dual-targeting κλ bodies allow for efficacious yet safe targeting of CD47 in cancer. Such a bispecific design could be applied to limit the extent of neutralization of other ubiquitously expressed therapeutic targets.
Project description:Signal regulatory protein α (SIRPα), a highly glycosylated type-1 transmembrane protein, is composed of three immunoglobulin-like extracellular loops as well as a cytoplasmic tail containing three classical tyrosine-based inhibitory motifs. Previous reports indicate that SIRPα binds to humoral pattern recognition molecules in the collectin family, namely surfactant proteins D and A (Sp-D and Sp-A, respectively), which are heavily expressed in the lung and constitute one of the first lines of innate immune defense against pathogens. However, little is known about molecular details of the structural interaction of Sp-D with SIRPs. In the present work, we examined the molecular basis of Sp-D binding to SIRPα using domain-deleted mutant proteins. We report that Sp-D binds to the membrane-proximal Ig domain (D3) of SIRPα in a calcium- and carbohydrate-dependent manner. Mutation of predicted N-glycosylation sites on SIRPα indicates that Sp-D binding is dependent on interactions with specific N-glycosylated residues on the membrane-proximal D3 domain of SIRPα. Given the remarkable sequence similarity of SIRPα to SIRPβ and the lack of known ligands for the latter, we examined Sp-D binding to SIRPβ. Here, we report specific binding of Sp-D to the membrane-proximal D3 domain of SIRPβ. Further studies confirmed that Sp-D binds to SIRPα expressed on human neutrophils and differentiated neutrophil-like cells. Because the other known ligand of SIRPα, CD47, binds to the membrane-distal domain D1, these findings indicate that multiple, distinct, functional ligand binding sites are present on SIRPα that may afford differential regulation of receptor function.
Project description:Signal integration between activating Fc receptors and inhibitory signal regulatory protein α (SIRPα) controls macrophage phagocytosis. Here, using dual-color direct stochastic optical reconstruction microscopy, we report that Fcγ receptor I (FcγRI), FcγRII, and SIRPα are not homogeneously distributed at macrophage surfaces but are organized in discrete nanoclusters, with a mean radius of 71 ± 11 nm, 60 ± 6 nm, and 48 ± 3 nm, respectively. Nanoclusters of FcγRI, but not FcγRII, are constitutively associated with nanoclusters of SIRPα, within 62 ± 5 nm, mediated by the actin cytoskeleton. Upon Fc receptor activation, Src-family kinase signaling leads to segregation of FcγRI and SIRPα nanoclusters to be 197 ± 3 nm apart. Co-ligation of SIRPα with CD47 abrogates nanocluster segregation. If the balance of signals favors activation, FcγRI nanoclusters reorganize into periodically spaced concentric rings. Thus, a nanometer- and micron-scale reorganization of activating and inhibitory receptors occurs at the surface of human macrophages concurrent with signal integration.
Project description:A membrane protein SIRPα (CD172a) interacts with another membrane protein CD47 and thereby constitutes a cell–cell contact signal. To investigate the functional role of CD47-SIRPα signal in the brain, we analyzed the effect of genetic ablation of CD47-SIRPα signal on the gene expression profile in specific brain regions by the use of microarrays. Overall design: Total RNAs were prepared from the white matter (optic nerve and optic tract) of wild-type or CD47 knockout mice. Total RNAs from five (wild-type) and four (CD47 knockout) different genotype-matched animals were pooled and subjected to the analysis on Affymetrix Gene Chip.
Project description:A membrane protein SIRPα (CD172a) interacts with another membrane protein CD47 and thereby constitutes a cell–cell contact signal. To investigate the functional role of CD47-SIRPα signal in the brain, we analyzed the effect of genetic ablation of CD47-SIRPα signal on the gene expression profile in specific brain cells by the use of microarrays. Overall design: Total RNAs were prepared from the brain mononuclear cells of wild-type or CD47 knockout mice. Brain mononuclear cells were isolated by the use of Percoll gradient method. Total RNAs from seven (wild-type) and six (CD47 knockout) different animals were pooled and subjected to the analysis on Affymetrix Gene Chip.
Project description:Recently, an important role for CD47, a well-known 'don't eat me' signal, in the clearance of aged erythrocytes was revealed. Experimental data support the conversion of CD47 from a 'don't eat me' to an 'eat me' signal through a conformational change in CD47. Intriguingly, erythrocyte phagocytosis after this switch seems to be mediated by the same receptor that normally signals inhibition of phagocytosis, SIRPα. In this review, the possible molecular mechanisms leading to this conformational change in CD47 as well as the possible signal transduction events leading to phagocytosis after this switch are discussed. Lastly, the consequences of this newly identified mode of erythrocyte phagocytosis for the clearance of aged erythrocytes during normal turnover and after erythrocyte transfusion are addressed.
Project description:Signal regulatory protein-α (SIRPα) is a key member of the "do-not-eat-me" signaling pathway, but its biological role and clinical relevance in B-cell NHL is relatively unknown. Using biopsy specimens from follicular lymphoma (FL), we identified three subsets (CD14+SIRPαhi, CD14-SIRPαlow, and CD14-SIRPαneg) of monocyte/macrophages (Mo/MΦ) based on CD14 and SIRPα expression. CD14+SIRPαhi cells expressed common Mo/MΦ markers; exhibited characteristic differentiation, migration, and phagocytosis; and suppressed T-cell function. CD14-SIRPαlow cells expressed fewer typical Mo/MΦ markers; migrated less and phagocytosed tumor cells less efficiently; and stimulated rather than suppressed T-cell function. Interestingly, the CD14-SIRPαneg subset expressed distinct Mo/MΦ markers compared to the other two subsets; had limited ability to migrate and phagocytose; but stimulated T-cell function. When using SIRPα-Fc to block the interaction between SIRPα and CD47, alone or in combination with rituximab, phagocytosis of tumor cells was differentially increased in the three Mo/MΦ subsets. Clinically, increased numbers of CD14+SIRPαhi cells were associated with an inferior survival in FL. In contrast, increased numbers of the CD14-SIRPαlow subset appeared to correlate with a better survival. Taken together, our results show that SIRPα expression delineates unique subsets of intratumoral Mo/MΦs with differing prognostic importance.
Project description:The host immune system generally serves as a barrier against tumor formation. Programmed death-ligand 1 (PD-L1) is a critical "don't find me" signal to the adaptive immune system, whereas CD47 transmits an anti-phagocytic signal, known as the "don't eat me" signal, to the innate immune system. These and similar immune checkpoints are often overexpressed on human tumors. Thus, dual targeting both innate and adaptive immune checkpoints would likely maximize anti-tumor therapeutic effect and elicit more durable responses. Herein, based on the variable region of atezolizumab and consensus variant 1 (CV1) monomer, we constructed a dual-targeting fusion protein targeting both CD47 and PD-L1 using "Knobs-into-holes" technology, denoted as IAB. It was effective in inducing phagocytosis of tumor cells, stimulating T-cell activation and mediating antibody-dependent cell-mediated cytotoxicity in vitro. No obvious sign of hematological toxicity was observed in mice administered IAB at a dose of 100 mg/kg, and IAB exhibited potent antitumor activity in an immune-competent mouse model of MC38. Additionally, the anti-tumor effect of IAB was impaired by anti-CD8 antibody or clodronate liposomes, which implied that both CD8+ T cells and macrophages were required for the anti-tumor efficacy of IAB and IAB plays an essential role in the engagement of innate and adaptive immune responses. Collectively, these results demonstrate the capacity of an elicited endogenous immune response against tumors and elucidate essential characteristics of synergistic innate and adaptive immune response, and indicate dual blockade of CD47 and PD-L1 by IAB may be a synergistic therapy that activates both innate and adaptive immune response against tumors.
Project description:Agents that block the anti-phagocytic signal CD47 can synergize with pro-phagocytic anti-tumor antigen antibodies to potently eliminate tumors. While CD47 is overexpressed on cancer cells, its expression in many normal tissues may create an 'antigen sink' that could minimize the therapeutic efficacy of CD47 blocking agents. Here, we report development of bispecific antibodies (BsAbs) that co-target CD47 and CD20, a therapeutic target for non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL), that have reduced affinity for CD47 relative to the parental antibody, but retain strong binding to CD20. These characteristics facilitate selective binding of BsAbs to tumor cells, leading to phagocytosis. Treatment of human NHL-engrafted mice with BsAbs reduced lymphoma burden and extended survival while recapitulating the synergistic efficacy of anti-CD47 and anti-CD20 combination therapy. These findings serve as proof of principle for BsAb targeting of CD47 with tumor-associated antigens as a viable strategy to induce selective phagocytosis of tumor cells and recapitulate the synergy of combination antibody therapy. This approach may be broadly applied to cancer to add a CD47 blocking component to existing antibody therapies.
Project description:CD47 is a widely distributed membrane protein that interacts with signal-regulatory protein ? (SIRP?), an inhibitory receptor on myeloid cells that gives a "don't-eat-me" signal. Manipulation of the interaction is of considerable interest in the immunotherapy of cancer and in xenotransplantation. The amino-terminal ligand binding domain of SIRP? is highly polymorphic in contrast to the single Ig-like domain of CD47. There is confusion as to whether the polymorphisms will affect ligand binding, but this is an important point for this interaction and other paired receptors being considered as targets for therapy. We show by x-ray crystallography that one human SIRP? allele differing in 13 amino acid residues has a very similar binding site and that several different alleles all bind CD47 with similar affinity as expected because the residues are mostly surface-exposed and distant from the binding site. A peptide from the binding site of CD47 has been reported to mimic the CD47 interaction with SIRP?, but we could find no binding. We discuss the possible pitfalls in determining the affinity of weak interactions and also speculate on how SIRP? polymorphisms may have been selected by pathogens and how this may also be true in other paired receptors such as the KIRs.