Efficient generation of bispecific IgG antibodies by split intein mediated protein trans-splicing system.
ABSTRACT: Many methods have been developed to produce bispecific antibodies (BsAbs) for industrial application. However, huge challenges still remain in synthesizing whole length BsAbs, including their assembly, stability, immunogenicity, and pharmacodynamics. Here we present for first time a generic technology platform of generating bispecific IgG antibodies, "Bispecific Antibody by Protein Trans-splicing (BAPTS)". Different from published methods, we assembled two parental antibody fragments in the hinge region by the protein trans-splicing reaction of a split intein to generate BsAbs without heavy/heavy and light/heavy chain mispairing. Utilizing this simple and efficient approach, there have been several BsAbs (CD3×HER2, CD3×EGFR, EGFR×HER2) synthesized to demonstrate its broad applicability. Correctly paired mAb arms were assembled to form BsAbs that were purified through protein A affinity chromatography to demonstrate industrial applicability at large scale. Further, the products were characterized through physical-biochemistry properties and biological activities to confirm expected quality of the products from "BAPTS". More importantly, correct pairing was confirmed by mass spectrum. Proof-of-concept studies with CD3×HER2 BsAb (T-cell recruitment) demonstrated superior bioactivity compared with trastuzumab. The results of undetectable mispairing and high biological activity have indicated that this method has the potential to be utilized to manufacture BsAbs with high efficiency at industrial scale.
Project description:A myriad of innovative bispecific antibody (BsAb) platforms have been reported. Most require significant protein engineering to be viable from a development and manufacturing perspective. Single-chain variable fragments (scFvs) and diabodies that consist only of antibody variable domains have been used as building blocks for making BsAbs for decades. The drawback with Fv-only moieties is that they lack the native-like interactions with CH1/CL domains that make antibody Fab regions stable and soluble. Here, we utilize a redesigned Fab interface to explore 2 novel Fab-based BsAbs platforms. The redesigned Fab interface designs limit heavy and light chain mixing when 2 Fabs are co-expressed simultaneously, thus allowing the use of 2 different Fabs within a BsAb construct without the requirement of one or more scFvs. We describe the stability and activity of a HER2×HER2 IgG-Fab BsAb, and compare its biophysical and activity properties with those of an IgG-scFv that utilizes the variable domains of the same parental antibodies. We also generated an EGFR × CD3 tandem Fab protein with a similar format to a tandem scFv (otherwise known as a bispecific T cell engager or BiTE). We show that the Fab-based BsAbs have superior biophysical properties compared to the scFv-based BsAbs. Additionally, the Fab-based BsAbs do not simply recapitulate the activity of their scFv counterparts, but are shown to possess unique biological activity.
Project description:Among different cancer immunotherapy approaches, bispecific antibodies (BsAbs) are of great interest due to their ability to recruit immune cells to kill tumor cells directly. Various BsAbs against Her2 tumor cells have been proposed with potent cytotoxic activities. However, most of these formats require extensive processing to obtain heterodimeric bispecific antibodies. In this study, we describe a bispecific antibody, BiHC (bispecific Her2-CD3 antibody), constructed with a single-domain anti-Her2 and a single-chain Fv (variable fragment) of anti-CD3 in an IgG-like format. In contrast to most IgG-like BsAbs, the two arms in BiHC have different molecular weights, making it easier to separate hetero- or homodimers. BiHC can be expressed in Escherichia coli and purified via Protein A affinity chromatography. The purified BiHC can recruit T cells and induce specific cytotoxicity of Her2-expressing tumor cells in vitro. The BiHC can also efficiently inhibit the tumor growth in vivo. Thus, BiHC is a promising candidate for the treatment of Her2-positive cancers.
Project description:Four different formats of bispecific antibodies (bsAbs) were generated that consist of anti-Her2 IgG or Fab site-specifically conjugated to anti-CD3 Fab using the genetically encoded noncanonical amino acid. These bsAbs varied in valency or in the presence or absence of an Fc domain. Different valencies did not significantly affect antitumor efficacy, whereas the presence of an Fc domain enhanced cytotoxic activity, but triggered antigen-independent T-cell activation. We show that the bsAbs can efficiently redirect T?cells to kill all Her2 expressing cancer cells, including Her2 1+ cancers, both in?vitro and in rodent xenograft models. This work increases our understanding of the structural features that affect bsAb activity, and underscores the potential of bsAbs as a promising therapeutic option for breast cancer patients with low or heterogeneous Her2 expression.
Project description:Bispecific antibodies (BsAbs) are a sort of dual functional proteins with specific binding to two distinct targets, which have become a focus of interest in antibody engineering and drug development research and have a promising future for wide applications in cancer immunotherapy and autoimmune disease. The key of clinical application and commercial-scale manufacturing of BsAbs is the amenability to assembly and purification of desired heterodimers. Advances in genetic engineering technology had resulted in the development of diverse BsAbs. Multiple recombinant strategies have been used to solve the mispairing problem between light and heavy chains, as well as to enforce accurate dimerization of heterologous heavy chains. There are 23 platforms available to generate 62 BsAbs which can be further divided into IgG-like ones and fragment-based ones, and more than 50 molecules are undergoing clinical trials currently. BsAbs with IgG-like architecture exhibit superior advantages in structure (similar to natural antibodies), pharmacokinetics, half-life, FcR-mediated function, and biological activity. This review considers various IgG-like BsAb generation approaches, summarizes the clinical applications of promising new BsAbs, and describes the mechanism of BsAbs in tumor therapy.
Project description:The promise of bispecific antibodies (bsAbs) to yield more effective therapeutics is well recognized; however, the generation of bsAbs in a practical and cost-effective manner has been a formidable challenge. Here we present a technology for the efficient generation of bsAbs with normal IgG structures that is amenable to both antibody drug discovery and development. The process involves separate expression of two parental antibodies, each containing single matched point mutations in the CH3 domains. The parental antibodies are mixed and subjected to controlled reducing conditions in vitro that separate the antibodies into HL half-molecules and allow reassembly and reoxidation to form highly pure bsAbs. The technology is compatible with standard large-scale antibody manufacturing and ensures bsAbs with Fc-mediated effector functions and in vivo stability typical of IgG1 antibodies. Proof-of-concept studies with HER2×CD3 (T-cell recruitment) and HER2×HER2 (dual epitope targeting) bsAbs demonstrate superior in vivo activity compared with parental antibody pairs.
Project description:Generation of bispecific antibodies (BsAbs) having two unique Fab domains requires heterodimerization of the two heavy chains and pairing of each heavy chain with its cognate light chain. An alternative bispecific scaffold (Bipod) comprising an scFv and a Fab on a heterodimeric Fc eliminates the possibility of light chain mispairing. However, unpredictable levels of chain expression and scFv-induced aggregation can complicate purification and reduce the yield of desired Bipod. Here, we describe a high-throughput method for generation of Bipods based on protein A and CH1 domain affinity capture. This method exploits over-expression of the scFv chain to maximize heterodimer yield. Bipods purified by this method have purity suitable for cell-based functional assays and in vivo studies.
Project description:Bispecific antibodies (BsAb) that engage T cells bind to tumor cells via a tumor-associated antigen and to T cells through surface CD3. BsAbs have promising antitumor properties in vivo Here, we describe the effects of Fc silencing on BsAb-driven T-cell trafficking to solid tumors. We used BsAbs specific for disialoganglioside GD2 or oncoprotein ErbB2 (HER2) and built on the IgG(L)-scFv platform with or without Fc silencing. We studied the kinetics of T-cell infiltration from blood into solid tumor masses when driven by these BsAbs. We also investigated the therapeutic efficacy of these BsAbs in two mouse models: immunodeficient mice xenografted with patient-derived GD2+ neuroblastoma or HER2+ breast cancer, and human CD3? transgenic mice implanted with a GD2+ murine tumor. BsAbs built with intact Fc domain were unable to drive T cells to tumor, thereby failing to achieve an antitumor effect in mice. T cells became sequestered in lungs by myeloid cells or depleted in circulation. In contrast, when Fc function was silenced by N297A ± K322A mutations, T cells were able to infiltrate into subcutaneous solid tumors, a prerequisite for successful therapy outcome.
Project description:Targeting two unique antigens with a single bispecific antibody is an attractive approach with potential broad therapeutic applicability. However, the production of heterodimeric bispecific antibodies (bsAbs) presents a challenge, requiring the co-expression and accurate pairing of two distinct heavy and light chain units. Several undesirable by-products can be formed in the production process, including heavy chain homodimers and non-cognate light chain pairings. Although additional downstream purification methods exist, they are often time consuming and restrict practical large-scale production. In this study, we identify and validate novel Fab interface mutations that increase cognate light chain pairing efficiencies within heterodimeric bsAbs. Importantly, the variable domains remain unaltered as interface mutations were restricted to the CH1 and CL domains. We performed several biochemical assays to demonstrate that the novel engineered interfaces do not adversely impact bispecific antibody expression, stability, affinity and biological function. The designs reported here can easily be applied in a generic manner to use existing antibodies as building blocks for bsAbs which will help to accelerate the identification and production of next generation bispecific antibody therapeutics.
Project description:Immunoglobulins and T cell receptors (TCRs) share common sequences and structures. With the goal of creating novel bispecific antibodies (BsAbs), we generated chimeric molecules, denoted IgG_TCRs, where the Fv regions of several antibodies were fused to the constant domains of the α/β TCR. Replacing CH1 with Cα and CL with Cβ, respectively, was essential for achieving at least partial heavy chain/light chain assembly. Further optimization of the linker regions between the variable and constant domains, as well as replacement of the large FG loop of Cβ with a canonical β-turn, was necessary to consistently obtain full heavy chain/light chain assembly. The optimized IgG_TCR molecules were evaluated biophysically and shown to maintain the binding properties of their parental antibodies. A few BsAbs were generated by co-expressing native Fabs and IgG_TCR Fabs within the same molecular construct. We demonstrate that the IgG_TCR designs steered each of the light chains within the constructs to specifically pair with their cognate heavy chain counterparts. We did find that even with complete constant domain specificity between the CH1/CL and Cα/Cβ domains of the Fabs, strong variable domain interactions can dominate the pairing specificity and induce some mispairing. Overall, the IgG_TCR designs described here are a first step toward the generation of novel BsAbs that may be directed toward the treatment of multi-faceted and complex diseases.
Project description:Bispecific antibodies (bsAbs) have emerged as promising therapeutics. A bispecific diabody (bsDb) is a small bsAb consisting of two distinct chimeric single-chain components, with two possible arrangements of the domains. We previously reported the effect of domain order on the function of a humanized bsDb targeting the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) on cancer cells, and CD3 on T cells. Notably, the co-localization of a T-cell receptor (TCR) with CD3 is bulky, potentially affecting the cross-linking ability of bsDbs, due to steric hindrance. Here, we constructed and evaluated humanized bsDbs, with different domain orders, targeting EGFR and CD16 on natural killer (NK) cells (hEx16-Dbs). We predicted minimal effects due to steric hindrance, as CD16 lacks accessory molecules. Interestingly, one domain arrangement displayed superior cytotoxicity in growth inhibition assays, despite similar cross-linking abilities for both domain orders tested. In hEx16-Dbs specifically, domain order might affect the agonistic activity of the anti-CD16 portion, which was supported by a cytokine production test, and likely contributed to the superiority of one of the hEx16-Dbs. Our results indicate that both the target antigen and mode of action of an antibody must be considered in the construction of highly functional bsAbs.