Finding and characterizing a catalytic antibody light chain, H34, capable of degrading the PD-1 molecule.
ABSTRACT: Programmed cell death 1 (PD-1) is an immune checkpoint molecule regulating T-cell function. Preventing PD-1 binding to its ligand PD-L1 has emerged as an important tool in immunotherapy. Here, we describe a unique human catalytic antibody light chain, H34, which mediates enzymatic degradation of human PD-1 peptides and recombinant human PD-1 protein and thus functions to prevent the binding of PD-1 with PD-L1. H34 degraded one half of the PD-1 molecules within about 6 h under the experimental conditions. Investigating the acquisition of the catalytic function by H34, which belongs to subgroup I and lacks a Pro95 residue in CDR-3, revealed the importance of this sequence, as a Pro95-reconstituted mutant (H34-Pro95(+)) exhibited very little catalytic activity to cleave PD-1. Interestingly, EDTA inhibited the catalytic activity of H34, which could work as a metallo-protease. Zn2+ or Co2+ ions may work as a cofactor. It is meaningfull that H34 was obtained from the human antibody gene taken from a healthy volunteer, suggesting that we potentially have such unique molecules in our body.
Project description:The effect of anti-programmed cell death 1 (PD-1) antibody in Epstein-Barr virus-associated gastric cancer (EBVaGC) was debatable, and no predictive biomarkers for efficacy have been reported. Public reports on anti-PD-1 antibody monotherapy-treated EBVaGC with available programmed death ligand-1 (PD-L1) expression status were summarized and analyzed. Relevance with clinicopathologic characteristics of PD-L1 expression by immunohistochemistry was analyzed in 159 patients diagnosed with EBVaGC. Relevance with genomic transcriptome and mutation profile of PD-L1 status in EBVaGC was assessed with three datasets, the cancer genome atlas (TCGA), Gene Expression Omnibus (GEO) GSE51575, and GSE62254. Based on the data from 8 reports, patients with positive PD-L1 expression (n = 30) had significantly superior objective response rate (ORR) than patients with negative PD-L1 expression (n = 9) (63.3% vs. 0%, <i>P</i> = .001) in EBVaGC receiving anti-PD-1 antibody monotherapy. PD-L1 positivity was associated with less aggressive clinicopathological characteristics and was an independent predictor for a longer disease-free survival (hazard ratio [<i>HR</i>] and 95% <i>CI</i>: 0.45 [0.22-0.92], <i>P</i> = .03) and overall survival (<i>HR</i> and 95% <i>CI</i>: 0.17 [0.06-0.43], <i>P</i> < .001). Analysis of public EBVaGC transcriptome and mutation datasets revealed enhanced immune-related signal pathways in PD-L1<sup>high</sup> EBVaGC and distinct mutation patterns in PD-L1<sup>low</sup> EBVaGC. PD-L1 positivity indicates a subtype of EBVaGC with 'hot' immune microenvironment, lower aggressiveness, better prognosis, and higher sensitivity to anti-PD-1 immunotherapy.
Project description:High sensitivity imaging tools could provide a more holistic view of target antigen expression to improve the identification of patients who might benefit from cancer immunotherapy. We developed for immunoPET a novel recombinant human IgG1 (termed C4) that potently binds an extracellular epitope on human and mouse PD-L1 and radiolabeled the antibody with zirconium-89. Small animal PET/CT studies showed that <sup>89</sup>Zr-C4 detected antigen levels on a patient derived xenograft (PDX) established from a non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patient before an 8-month response to anti-PD-1 and anti-CTLA4 therapy. Importantly, the concentration of antigen is beneath the detection limit of previously developed anti-PD-L1 radiotracers, including radiolabeled atezolizumab. We also show that <sup>89</sup>Zr-C4 can specifically detect antigen in human NSCLC and prostate cancer models endogenously expressing a broad range of PD-L1. <sup>89</sup>Zr-C4 detects mouse PD-L1 expression changes in immunocompetent mice, suggesting that endogenous PD-1/2 will not confound human imaging. Lastly, we found that <sup>89</sup>Zr-C4 could detect acute changes in tumor expression of PD-L1 due to standard of care chemotherapies. In summary, we present evidence that low levels of PD-L1 in clinically relevant cancer models can be imaged with immunoPET using a novel recombinant human antibody.
Project description:The rise of programmed death-1 (PD-1)/PD-L1 immune checkpoint inhibitor therapy has been one of the most promising developments in melanoma research. However, not all the melanoma patients respond to such immune checkpoint blockade. There is a great need of biomarkers for appropriate melanoma patient selection and therapeutic efficacy monitoring. The objective of this study is to develop a novel radiolabeled anti-PD-L1 antibody fragment, as an imaging biomarker, for evaluating the <i>in vivo</i> PD-L1 levels in melanoma. The Df-conjugated F(ab')<sub>2</sub> fragment of the anti-mouse PD-L1 antibody was successfully synthesized and radiolabeled with <sup>89</sup>Zr. Both Df-F(ab')<sub>2</sub> and <sup>89</sup>Zr-Df-F(ab')<sub>2</sub> maintained the nano-molar murine PD-L1 targeting specificity and affinity. <sup>89</sup>Zr-Df-F(ab')<sub>2</sub> showed less uptake in normal liver tissue in mice compared with its full antibody counterpart <sup>89</sup>Zr-Df-anti-PD-L1. Positron emission tomography (PET)/computed tomography images clearly showed that <sup>89</sup>Zr-Df-F(ab')<sub>2</sub> possessed superior pharmacokinetics and imaging contrast over the radiolabeled full antibody, with much earlier and higher tumor uptake (5.5 times more at 2 h post injection) and much lower liver background (51% reduction at 2 h post injection). The specific and high murine PD-L1-targeting uptake at tumor foci coupled with fast clearance of <sup>89</sup>Zr-Df-F(ab')<sub>2</sub> highlighted its potential for <i>in vivo</i> PET imaging of murine PD-L1 levels and future development of radiolabeled anti-human PD-L1 fragment for potential application in melanoma patients.
Project description:<h4>Objective</h4>The goal is to evaluate avelumab, an anti-PD-L1 monoclonal immunoglobulin G antibody labeled with zirconium-89 in human PD-L1-expressing cancer cells and mouse xenografts for clinical translation.<h4>Methods</h4>[<sup>89</sup>Zr]Zr-DFO-PD-L1 monoclonal antibody (mAb) was synthesized using avelumab conjugated to desferrioxamine. In vitro binding studies and biodistribution studies were performed with PD-L1+MDA-MB231 cells and MDA-MB231 xenograft mouse models, respectively. Biodistributions were determined at 1, 2, 3, 5, and 7 days post coinjection of [<sup>89</sup>Zr]Zr-DFO-PD-L1 mAb without or with unlabeled avelumab (10, 20, 40, and 400 µg).<h4>Results</h4>[<sup>89</sup>Zr]Zr-DFO-PD-L1 mAb exhibited high affinity (K<sub>d</sub> ? 0.3 nM) and detected moderate PD-L1 expression levels in MDA-MB231 cells. The spleen and lymph nodes exhibited the highest [<sup>89</sup>Zr]Zr-DFO-PD-L1 mAb uptakes in all time points, while MDA-MB231 tumor uptakes were lower but highly retained. In the unlabeled avelumab dose escalation studies, spleen tissue-muscle ratios decreased in a dose-dependent manner indicating specific [<sup>89</sup>Zr]Zr-DFO-PD-L1 mAb binding to PD-L1. In contrast, lymph node and tumor tissue-muscle ratios increased 4- to 5-fold at 20 and 40 µg avelumab doses.<h4>Conclusions</h4>[<sup>89</sup>Zr]Zr-DFO-PD-L1 mAb exhibited specific and high affinity for PD-L1 in vitro and had target tissue uptakes correlating with PD-L1 expression levels in vivo. [<sup>89</sup>Zr]Zr-DFO-PD-L1 mAb uptake in PD-L1+tumors increased with escalating doses of avelumab.
Project description:The efficacy of programmed cell death‑ligand 1 (PD‑L1)/programmed cell death protein 1 (PD‑1) blockade therapy has been demonstrated but is limited in patients with PD‑L1<sup>low</sup> or immune desert tumors. This limitation can be overcome by combination therapies that include anti‑vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) therapy. Such combinations have been investigated in clinical trials for a number of cancer types; however, evidence on the mechanisms underlying their effects in these types of patients is still not sufficient. Therefore, the present study investigated the efficacy and effects on CD8<sup>+</sup> T cell and C‑X‑C motif chemokine receptor 3 (CXCR3) ligand expression in tumors by combining anti‑PD‑L1 and anti‑VEGF antibodies using an OV2944‑HM‑1 mouse model with PD‑L1<sup>low</sup> and immune desert‑like phenotypes. Although the model exhibited anti‑PD‑L1 insensitivity, anti‑PD‑L1 antibody treatment combined with anti‑VEGF antibody inhibited tumor growth compared with anti‑VEGF monotherapy, which itself inhibited tumor growth compared with the control treatment on Day 25. In combination‑treated mice, a higher percentage of CD8<sup>+</sup> T cells and higher levels of CXCR3 ligands were observed in tumor tissues compared with those in the anti‑VEGF antibody treatment group, which was not significantly different from control treatment on Day 8. The increase in the intratumoral percentage of CD8<sup>+</sup> T cells following the combination treatment was reversed by CXCR3 blocking to the same level as the control. In an anti‑PD‑L1 insensitive model with PD‑L1<sup>low</sup> and immune desert‑like phenotypes, although anti‑PD‑L1 antibody alone was not effective, anti‑PD‑L1 antibody in combination with anti‑VEGF antibody exhibited antitumor combination efficacy with an increase of CD8<sup>+</sup> T cell infiltration, which was suggested to be dependent on the increase of intratumoral CXCR3 ligands. This mechanism could explain the efficacy of anti‑PD‑L1 antibody and anti‑VEGF antibody combination therapy in the clinical setting.
Project description:Activation of the programmed cell death protein 1 and programmed cell death ligand 1 (PD-1/PD-L1) signaling axis plays important roles in intrinsic or acquired resistance to human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2)-directed therapies in the clinic. Therefore, therapies simultaneously targeting both HER2 and PD-1/PD-L1 signaling pathways are of great significance. Here, aiming to direct the anti-PD-L1 responses toward HER2-expressing tumor cells, we constructed a humanized bispecific IgG1 subclass antibody targeting both HER2 and PD-L1 (HER2/PD-L1; BsAb), which displayed satisfactory purity, thermostability, and serum stability. We found that BsAb showed enhanced antibody-dependent cell-mediated cytotoxicity (ADCC) activity in vitro. In the late phase of peripheral blood mononuclear cell (PBMC)-humanized HER2<sup>+</sup> tumor xenograft models, BsAb showed superior therapeutic efficacies as compared with monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) or combination treatment strategies. In cynomolgus monkeys, BsAb showed favorable pharmacokinetics and toxicity profiles when administered at a 10 mg/kg dosage. Thus, HER2/PD-L1 BsAb was demonstrated as a potentially effective option for managing HER2<sup>+</sup> and trastuzumab-resistant tumors in the clinic. We propose that the enhanced antitumor activities of BsAb in vivo may be due to direct inhibition of HER2 signaling or activation of T cells.
Project description:Immune check point inhibitors targeting programmed cell death protein-1 (PD-1) and its ligand (PD-L1) have shown clinical success in treatment of human malignancies. Triple negative breast cancer (TNBC), which is primarily characterized by high heterogeneity and presence of tumor infiltrating lymphocytes, remains therapeutic challenge due to unavailability of approved targeted therapy. Therapeutic potential of immune check point inhibitors for TNBC patients is under active clinical investigation. In this study, we show that FDA-approved anti-PD-L1 antibody, atezolizumab (ATE), potentiates T cell-mediated cytotoxicity and apoptosis of TNBC cells that express higher levels of PD-L1, but does not have significant effect on TNBC cells expressing low levels of PD-L1. PD-L1 knockdown further confirmed that ability of ATE to promote T cell-induced cytotoxicity is PD-L1 expression dependent. Combination of ATE with PD-L1 upregulating agents, such as HDAC, proteasomal, and lysosomal inhibitors, further augmented cytotoxic activity of T cells toward TNBC cells. Based on analysis of breast cancer tissue samples deposited in The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA), we found a positive correlation between PD-L1 and focal adhesion kinase (FAK) mRNA expression in PD-L1-positive (PD-L1<sup>+</sup>) TNBC, suggesting a functional association of FAK and immune checkpoints. We further demonstrate that ATE dramatically downregulates phosphorylation status of FAK, an important regulator of cell invasion and migration, and significantly enhances FAK inhibitor mediated inhibition of cell motility and invasion of PD-L1<sup>+</sup> TNBC cells independent of T cells. Taken together, our data suggest that ATE shows promising anti-tumor activity in PD-L1<sup>+</sup> TNBC via both T cell-dependent and -independent mechanisms.
Project description:Huge efforts have been devoted to develop therapeutic monoclonal antibodies targeting human Programmed death-ligand 1 (hPD-L1) for treating various types of human cancers. However, thus far there is no suitable animal model for evaluating the anti-tumor efficacy of such antibodies against hPD-L1. Here we report the generation of a robust and effective system utilizing hPD-L1-expressing mouse tumor cells to study the therapeutic activity and mode of action of anti-human PD-L1 in mice. The model has been validated by using a clinically proven hPD-L1 blocking antibody. The anti-hPD-L1 antibody treatment resulted in potent dose-dependent rejection of the human PD-L1-expressing tumors in mice. Consistent with what have observed in autochthonous mouse tumor models and cancer patients, the hPD-L1 tumor bearing mice treated by anti-hPD-L1 antibody showed rapid activation, proliferation and reinvigoration of the cytolytic effector function of CD8<sup>+</sup>T cells inside tumor tissues. Moreover, anti-hPD-L1 treatment also led to profound inhibition of Treg expansion and shifting of myeloid cell profiles, showing bona fide induction of multilateral anti-tumor responses by anti-hPD-L1 blockade. Thus, this hPD-L1 mouse model system would facilitate the pre-clinical investigation of therapeutic efficacy and immune modulatory function of various forms of anti-hPD-L1 antibodies.
Project description:Although immunotherapy has achieved great clinical success in clinical outcomes, especially the anti-PD-1 or anti-PD-L1 antibodies, not all patients respond to anti-PD-1 immunotherapy. It is urgently required for a clinical diagnosis to develop non-invasive imaging meditated strategy for assessing the expression level of PD-L1 in tumors. In this work, a <sup>68</sup>Ga-labeled single-domain antibody tracer, <sup>68</sup>Ga-NOTA-Nb109, was designed for specific and noninvasive imaging of PD-L1 expression in an MC38 tumor-bearing mouse model. Comprehensive studies including Positron Emission Tomography (PET), biodistribution, blocking studies, immunohistochemistry, and immunotherapy, have been performed in differences PD-L1 expression tumor-bearing models. These results revealed that <sup>68</sup>Ga-NOTA-Nb109 specifically accumulated in the MC38-hPD-L1 tumor. The content of this nanobody in MC38 hPD-L1 tumor and MC38 Mixed tumor was 8.2 ± 1.3, 7.3 ± 1.2, 3.7 ± 1.5, 2.3 ± 1.2%ID/g and 7.5 ± 1.4, 3.6 ± 1.7, 1.7 ± 0.6, 1.2 ± 0.5%ID/g at 0.5, 1, 1.5, 2 hours post-injection, respectively. <sup>68</sup>Ga-NOTA-Nb109 has the potential to further noninvasive PET imaging and therapy effectiveness assessments based on the PD-L1 status in tumors. To explore the possible synergistic effects of immunotherapy combined with chemotherapy, MC38 xenografts with different sensitivity to PD-L1 blockade were established. In addition, we found that PD-1 blockade also had efficacy on the PD-L1 knockout tumors. RT-PCR and immunofluorescence analysis were used to detect the expression of PD-L1. It was observed that both mouse and human PD-L1 expressed among three types of MC38 tumors. These results suggest that PD-L1 on tumor cells affect the efficacy, but it on host myeloid cells might be essential for checkpoint blockade. Moreover, anti-PD-1 treatment activates tumor-reactive CD103<sup>+</sup> CD39<sup>+</sup> CD8+T cells (TILs) in tumor microenvironment.
Project description:<b>Rationale:</b> The low response rate of immunotherapy, such as anti-PD-L1/PD-1 and anti-CTLA4, has limited its application to a wider population of cancer patients. One widely accepted view is that inflammation within the tumor microenvironment is low or ineffective for inducing the sufficient infiltration and/or activation of lymphocytes. Here, a highly tumor-selective anti-PD-L1 (?PD-L1) antibody was developed through PET imaging screening, and it was radiolabeled with Lu-177 for PD-L1-targeted radioimmunotherapy (RIT) and radiation-synergized immunotherapy. <b>Methods:</b> A series of ?PD-L1 antibodies were radiolabeled with zirconium-89 for PET imaging to screen the most suitable antibodies for RIT. Mice were divided into an immunotherapy group, a RIT group and a radiation-synergized immunotherapy group to evaluate the therapeutic effect. Alterations in the tumor microenvironment after treatment were assessed using flow cytometry and immunofluorescence microscopy. <b>Results:</b> Radiation-synergistic RIT can achieve a significantly better therapeutic effect than immunotherapy or RIT alone. The dosages of the radiopharmaceuticals and ?PD-L1 antibodies were reduced, the infiltration of CD4<sup>+</sup> and CD8<sup>+</sup> T cells in the tumor microenvironment was increased, and no side effects were observed. This radiation-synergistic RIT strategy successfully showed a strong synergistic effect with ?PD-L1 checkpoint blockade therapy, at least in the mouse model. <b>Conclusions:</b> PET imaging of <sup>89</sup>Zr-labeled antibodies is an effective method for antibody screening. RIT with a <sup>177</sup>Lu-labeled ?PD-L1 antibody could successfully upregulate antitumor immunity in the tumor microenvironment and turn "cold" tumors "hot" for immunotherapy.