High-Throughput Generation of Bipod (Fab × scFv) Bispecific Antibodies Exploits Differential Chain Expression and Affinity Capture.
ABSTRACT: 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: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: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:Here we present a bispecific antibody (bsAb) format in which a disulfide-stabilized scFv is fused to the C-terminus of the light chain of an IgG to create an IgG-scFv bifunctional antibody. When expressed in mammalian cells and purified by one-step protein A chromatography, the bsAb retains parental affinities of each binding domain, exhibits IgG-like stability and demonstrates in vivo IgG-like tumor targeting and blood clearance. The extension of the C-terminus of the light chain of an IgG with an scFv or even a smaller peptide does appear to disrupt disulfide bond formation between the light and heavy chains; however, this does not appear to affect binding, stability or in vivo properties of the IgG. Thus, we demonstrate here that the light chain of an IgG can be extended with an scFv without affecting IgG function and stability. This format serves as a standardized platform for the construction of functional bsAbs.
Project description:Bispecific antibodies represent an emerging class of antibody drugs that are commonly generated by fusion of Fv or scFv antigen binding domains to IgG or Fab scaffolds. Fv- or scFv-mediated multimerisation of bispecific antibodies via promiscuous vH-vL pairing can result in sub-optimal monomer levels during expression, and hence, undesirable therapeutic protein yields. We investigate the contribution of disulphide stabilised Fv and scFv to Fab-Fv and Fab-scFv multimerisation. We show that monomer levels of isolated Fv/scFv cannot always be used to predict monomer levels of Fab-linked Fv/scFv, and that Fab-scFv monomer levels are greater than the equivalent Fab-Fv. Through grafting bispecifics with framework/CDR-'swapped' Fv and scFv, we show that monomer levels of disulphide stabilised Fab-Fv and Fab-scFv can be improved by Fv framework 'swapping'. The Fab-Fv and Fab-scFv can be considered representative of the significant number of bispecific antibody formats containing appended Fv/scFv, as we also used Fv framework 'swapping' to increase the monomer level of an IgG-scFv bispecific antibody. This research may, therefore, be useful for maximising the monomeric yield of numerous pharmaceutically-relevant bispecific formats in pre-clinical development.
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:Bispecific antibodies (bsAbs) are of significant importance to the development of novel antibody-based therapies, and heavy chain (Hc) heterodimers represent a major class of bispecific drug candidates. Current technologies for the generation of Hc heterodimers are suboptimal and often suffer from contamination by homodimers posing purification challenges. Here, we introduce a new technology based on biomimicry wherein the protein-protein interfaces of two different immunoglobulin (Ig) constant domain pairs are exchanged in part or fully to design new heterodimeric domains. The method can be applied across Igs to design Fc heterodimers and bsAbs. We investigated interfaces from human IgA CH3, IgD CH3, IgG1 CH3, IgM CH4, T-cell receptor (TCR) ?/?, and TCR ?/? constant domain pairs, and we found that they successfully drive human IgG1 CH3 or IgM CH4 heterodimerization to levels similar to or above those of reference methods. A comprehensive interface exchange between the TCR ?/? constant domain pair and the IgG1 CH3 homodimer was evidenced by X-ray crystallography and used to engineer examples of bsAbs for cancer therapy. Parental antibody pairs were rapidly reformatted into scalable bsAbs that were free of homodimer traces by combining interface exchange, asymmetric Protein A binding, and the scFv × Fab format. In summary, we successfully built several new CH3- or CH4-based heterodimers that may prove useful for designing new bsAb-based therapeutics, and we anticipate that our approach could be broadly implemented across the Ig constant domain family. To our knowledge, CH4-based heterodimers have not been previously reported.
Project description:Bispecific antibodies are an emergent class of biologics that is of increasing interest for therapeutic applications. In one bispecific antibody format, single-chain variable fragments (scFv) are linked to or inserted in different locations of an intact immunoglobulin G (IgG) molecule to confer dual epitope binding. To improve biochemical stability, cysteine residues are often engineered on the heavy- and light-chain regions of the scFv to form an intrachain disulfide bond. Although this disulfide bond often improves stability, it can also introduce unexpected challenges to manufacturing or development. We report size variants that were observed for an appended scFv-IgG bispecific antibody. Structural characterization studies showed that the size variants resulted from the engineered disulfide bond on the scFv, whereby the engineered disulfide was found to be either open or unable to form an intrachain disulfide bond due to cysteinylation or glutathionylation of the cysteines. Furthermore, the scFv engineered cysteines also formed intermolecular disulfide bonds, leading to the formation of highly stable dimers and aggregates. Because both the monomer variants and dimers showed lower bioactivity, they were considered to be product-related impurities that must be monitored and controlled. To this end, we developed and optimized a robust, precise, and accurate high-resolution size-exclusion chromatographic method, using a statistical design-of-experiments methodology.
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:Antibody-based immunotherapy has proven efficacy for patients with high-risk neuroblastoma. However, despite being the most efficient tumoricidal effectors, T cells are underutilized because they lack Fc receptors. Using a monovalent single-chain fragment (ScFv) platform, we engineered tandem scFv bispecific antibodies (BsAbs) that specifically target disialoganglioside (GD2) on tumor cells and CD3 on T cells. Structural variants of BsAbs were constructed and ranked based on binding to GD2, and on competency in inducing T-cell-mediated tumor cytotoxicity. In vitro thermal stability and binding measurements were used to characterize each of the constructs, and in silico molecular modeling was used to show how the orientation of the variable region heavy (VH) and light (VL) chains of the anti-GD2 ScFv could alter the conformations of key residues responsible for high affinity binding. We showed that the VH-VL orientation, the (GGGGS)3 linker, disulfide bond stabilization of scFv, when combined with an affinity matured mutation provided the most efficient BsAb to direct T cells to lyse GD2-positive tumor cells. In vivo, the optimized BsAb could efficiently inhibit melanoma and neuroblastoma xenograft growth. These findings provide preclinical validation of a structure-based method to assist in designing BsAb for T-cell-mediated therapy.
Project description:We describe a generic approach to assemble correctly two heavy and two light chains, derived from two existing antibodies, to form human bivalent bispecific IgG antibodies without use of artificial linkers. Based on the knobs-into-holes technology that enables heterodimerization of the heavy chains, correct association of the light chains and their cognate heavy chains is achieved by exchange of heavy-chain and light-chain domains within the antigen binding fragment (Fab) of one half of the bispecific antibody. This "crossover" retains the antigen-binding affinity but makes the two arms so different that light-chain mispairing can no longer occur. Applying the three possible "CrossMab" formats, we generated bispecific antibodies against angiopoietin-2 (Ang-2) and vascular endothelial growth factor A (VEGF-A) and show that they can be produced by standard techniques, exhibit stabilities comparable to natural antibodies, and bind both targets simultaneously with unaltered affinity. Because of its superior side-product profile, the CrossMab(CH1-CL) was selected for in vivo profiling and showed potent antiangiogenic and antitumoral activity.