In this continuing Bioengineering Research Partnership project, we seek to design improved antibody drugs for blocking aberrant signaling by epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) in cancer. A team with expertise in protein engineering (Wittrup, MIT), structural biology (Kuriyan, UC Berkeley), cell engineering (Lauffenburger, MIT), proteomics (White, MIT), and medical imaging (Larson, MSKCC) will further develop and characterize a panel of anti-EGFR molecules isolated in the previous project period. Our central hypothesis is that antibodies binding to domain IV of EGFR (anti-IV) block signaling in a ligand-independent manner, enabling antagonism of a common truncation mutant (EGFRvlll) that is not antagonized by the current generation of anti-EGFR antibodies. Anti-IV antibodies and fluorescence-based biophysical techniques will be used to further study the transduction of a symmetric ligand-bound extracellular dimerization event to an asymmetric active kinase dimer in the cytoplasm, recently characterized as part of this project. The molecular allosteric mechanisms that result in kinase domain activation upon ligand binding will be delineated so as to understand better how to block this process. We will apply mass spectrometry to simultaneously quantify the phosphorylation kinetics of hundreds of specific tyrosines in the signaling pathways downstream of EGFR, in particular looking for proximal evidence for eradication of EGFRvlll's effects by anti-IV antibodies. Enhanced receptor downregulation with multivalent antibodies will be systematically studied and exploited to reduce receptor number. Effects of anti-IV antibodies on migration and proliferation will be examined in autocrine cell lines. The kinetics of antibody penetration into tumor spheroids will be studied by 2-photon microscopy. In mouse xenograft models, the pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of these antibodies will be studied by PET. This project is a systematic effort by a team of engineers, scientists, and physicians to develop a new generation of anticancer drugs through improved mechanistic understanding and blocking of a common class of uncontrolled growth signals sent by receptors on the surface of cancer cells.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Cancer Institute (NCI)
Research Project (R01)
Project #
Application #
Study Section
Special Emphasis Panel (ZRG1-ONC-G (03))
Program Officer
Welch, Anthony R
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
Budget End
Support Year
Fiscal Year
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Engineering (All Types)
Schools of Engineering
United States
Zip Code
Chen, Tiffany F; Li, Kevin K; Zhu, Eric F et al. (2018) Artificial Anti-Tumor Opsonizing Proteins with Fibronectin Scaffolds Engineered for Specificity to Each of the Murine Fc?R Types. J Mol Biol 430:1786-1798
Rothenberg, Daniel A; Taliaferro, J Matthew; Huber, Sabrina M et al. (2018) A Proteomics Approach to Profiling the Temporal Translational Response to Stress and Growth. iScience 9:367-381
Yoneyama, Toshie; Gorry, Michael; Sobo-Vujanovic, Andrea et al. (2018) ADAM10 Sheddase Activity is a Potential Lung-Cancer Biomarker. J Cancer 9:2559-2570
Kelly, Ryan L; Le, Doris; Zhao, Jessie et al. (2018) Reduction of Nonspecificity Motifs in Synthetic Antibody Libraries. J Mol Biol 430:119-130
Cantor, Aaron J; Shah, Neel H; Kuriyan, John (2018) Deep mutational analysis reveals functional trade-offs in the sequences of EGFR autophosphorylation sites. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 115:E7303-E7312
Emdal, Kristina B; Dittmann, Antje; Reddy, Raven J et al. (2017) Characterization of In Vivo Resistance to Osimertinib and JNJ-61186372, an EGFR/Met Bispecific Antibody, Reveals Unique and Consensus Mechanisms of Resistance. Mol Cancer Ther 16:2572-2585
Miller, Miles A; Sullivan, Ryan J; Lauffenburger, Douglas A (2017) Molecular Pathways: Receptor Ectodomain Shedding in Treatment, Resistance, and Monitoring of Cancer. Clin Cancer Res 23:623-629
Kauke, Monique J; Traxlmayr, Michael W; Parker, Jillian A et al. (2017) An engineered protein antagonist of K-Ras/B-Raf interaction. Sci Rep 7:5831
Chen, Tiffany F; Sazinsky, Stephen L; Houde, Damian et al. (2017) Engineering Aglycosylated IgG Variants with Wild-Type or Improved Binding Affinity to Human Fc Gamma RIIA and Fc Gamma RIIIAs. J Mol Biol 429:2528-2541
Wittrup, K Dane (2017) Antitumor Antibodies Can Drive Therapeutic T Cell Responses. Trends Cancer 3:615-620

Showing the most recent 10 out of 121 publications