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N-terminal selective conjugation method widens the therapeutic window of antibody-drug conjugates by improving tolerability and stability.

ABSTRACT: Antibody-drug conjugates (ADCs) are targeted therapeutic agents that treat cancers by selective delivery of highly potent cytotoxic drugs to tumor cells via cancer-specific antibodies. However, their clinical benefit is limited by off-target toxicity and narrow therapeutic windows. To overcome these limitations, we have applied reductive alkylation to develop a new type of ADC that has cytotoxic drugs conjugated to the N-terminal of an antibody through amine bonds introduced via reductive alkylation reactions (NTERM). To test whether the NTERM-conjugated ADCs can widen therapeutic windows, we synthesized three different ADCs by conjugating trastuzumab and monomethyl auristatin-F using three different methods, and compared their stability, efficacy, and toxicity. The NTERM-conjugated ADC was more stable in vitro and in vivo than the thiol-conjugated and the lysine-conjugated ADCs. The NTERM-conjugated ADC showed lower toxicity compared to other ADCs, whereas its efficacy was comparable to that of the thiol-conjugated ADC and better than that of the lysine-conjugated ADC. These results suggest that the NTERM conjugation method could widen the therapeutic window of ADCs by enhancing its stability and reducing toxicity.

PROVIDER: S-EPMC8081041 | BioStudies |

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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