Antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity (ADCC) is an important mechanism by which therapeutic monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) kill tumor cells. However, killing by current therapeutic IgG mAbs is not optimal. Inefficient ADCC provides a potential escape mechanism for tumors and can be targeted to improve antibody- based cancer therapies. Most of the tumor-directed mAbs used in clinical trials are human IgG1, which can activate complement and/or recruit NK cells for ADCC by binding to Fc?RIIIa (CD16). Several groups have shown that IgA triggers potent ADCC by binding to the Fc?RI (CD89) and recruiting neutrophils. Our goal is to create a new class of potent anti-tumor antibodies that can activate a wide variety of immune cell types bearing either the Fc?RI or Fc?RIIIa. These novel chimeric heavy chains and associated light chains will be expressed in plants to produce antibodies with specific N-glycan structures and enhanced antibody dependent cellular cytotoxicity (ADCC) activity. Structural studies of IgA binding to the Fc?RI and IgG1 binding to the Fc?RIIIa suggest that a chimeric antibody containing both IgG1 and IgA domains, and bound to a tumor cell target, will bind and activate both receptors on immune effector cells. As proof of concept we will link the Fab domains of an anti-HER2 antibody to a fusion of the Fc ?1 CH1-CH2-CH3 domains and Fc ?2 CH2-CH3 domains. IgG1-only and IgA2-only versions will be constructed as controls. The Fc of IgG1 is expected to confer three benefits: (a) prolongation of serum half-life via FcRn binding; (b) purification using Protein A;and (c) augmented cellular recruitment and activation of natural killer (NK) cells via Fc? receptor binding. The IgA2 Fc is expected to confer augmented cellular recruitment and activation of polymorphonuclear cells (PMN) via Fc?RI binding. Recent studies have demonstrated the importance of IgG Fc glycosylation for Fc?R binding and maximizing ADCC. In particular, the absence of core ?1-6)-Fucose and the presence of a bisecting N- acetylglucosamine (GlcNAc) residue each enhance Fc binding to Fc?RIIIa. By co-expressing our recombinant antibodies along with specific glycosyltransferases in a transgenic Nicotiana benthamiana background we will produce antibodies with N-glycan structures that are optimal for participating in ADCC. We will produce six variant antibody forms (IgA, IgG and chimeric IgG/A, each with two different N- glycosylation types), all bearing the same anti-HER-2/neu/c-Erb-B2 Fab region, using our plant expression system and evaluate their ability to direct ADCC in vitro against standard breast cancer cell lines. Our collaborators at the University of Pennsylvania will evaluate the ability of these recombinant antibodies to shrink HER2-expressing syngeneic tumors in transgenic mice expressing both HER2/neu and human Fc?RI.
Despite significant gains in diagnosis and therapy, cancer remains the second leading cause of death in the US. Antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity (ADCC) is an important mechanism by which therapeutic monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) kill tumor cells. However, killing by current therapeutic IgG mAbs is not optimal. Our goal is to create a new class of potent anti-tumor antibodies that can activate a wider variety of immune cell types and thus enhance ADCC activity.