Evidence suggests that matrix metalloproteinase (MMPs) play important, albeit frequently paradoxical, roles in multiple pathologies, including cancer, neuropathic pain, chronic wounds, hypertension, and inflammatory diseases. It is an urgent need to develop selective and efficient inhibitors of individual MMPs for biomedical research and disease therapies. However, the catalytic domains of MMPs share a high degree of sequence and fold homology, and thus distinguishing among MMPs using small molecule inhibitors is exceedingly difficult. Because of their exquisite specificity, antibody-based inhibitrs are emerging as promising MMP- blocking agents. Unfortunately, to date, at least two major obstacles make the routine discovery of MMP- inhibiting mAbs difficult: (1) low antigenicity of the MMP active site, and (2) lack of function-based selection methods. Our long-term goal is to develop therapeutic mAbs that would inhibit specific MMPs in disease. The objectives of this project are to (1) overcome these obstacles and establish general, streamlined methodologies for the discovery and engineering of inhibitory antibodies; and (2) use these MMP inhibitory mAbs to advance our understandings on mechanisms of cancer cell migration and test their therapeutic potentials in xenograft models. Our central hypotheses are (1) convex antigen-binding sites (paratopes) are inhibitory; (2) development of a quantitative, function-based high-throughput screening (HTS) greatly accelerates the discovery of inhibitory mAbs; and (3) blocking the specific MMP activities by highly selective functional mAbs inhibits cancer cell migration in vitro and invasion in vivo. Building on our team's expertise in protein engineering, biophysics, cell biology and cancer biology, we will, Aim 1: design, synthesis and optimize human antibody libraries carrying convex paratopes;
Aim 2 : isolate inhibitory antibodies by function-based high-throughput screening;
Aim 3 : characterize inhibitory mAbs and elucidate inhibition mechanisms;
and Aim 4 : test the ability of inhibitory mAbs to alter cancer cell migration in vitro and invasion in vivo. The approaches are innovative, because it will (1) create synthetic human antibody libraries carrying inhibitory paratopes; (2) develop a groundbreaking function-based (rather than binding-based) HTS method for facile discovery of mAbs inhibiting the individual MMPs; (3) uncover how the structure and mechanics of the extracellular matrix controls MMP activity during cancer cell migration and invasion; (4) transform novel antibody-based selective MMP inhibitors into drug leads applicable for biopharmaceutical developments. The proposed research is significant because it will (1) establish a pipeline technology can be readily applied for many biomedically important proteases, one of the largest families of pharmaceutical targets; (2) advance our understanding of the molecular mechanisms by which cancer cells migrate through the extracellular matrix; and (3) initialize the development toward novel immunotherapeutic agents blocking cancer metastasis. Title: Structure-based design of camel-like human selective mAbs against MMPs in disease Keywords: matrix metalloproteinase; inhibitory antibody; synthetic antibody library; camelid antibody; high-throughput screening; complementarity determining region.

Public Health Relevance

The proposed research is relevant to public health because it encompasses the development and characterization of the highly specific monoclonal antibody inhibitors for disease-related proteinases. These proteinases are pivotal in cancer progression, neuropathic pain, chronic wounds, hypertension, and infectious diseases. Highly specific monoclonal antibody inhibitors will accelerate research directed to a better understanding of basic pathology of these diseases and lead to the development of therapeutic interventions targeting these diseases.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS)
Research Project (R01)
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Macromolecular Structure and Function A Study Section (MSFA)
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Barski, Oleg
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University of California Riverside
Engineering (All Types)
Schools of Engineering
United States
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Nam, Dong Hyun; Lee, Ki Baek; Ge, Xin (2018) Functional Production of Catalytic Domains of Human MMPs in Escherichia coli Periplasm. Methods Mol Biol 1731:65-72
Lopez, Tyler; Chuan, Chen; Ramirez, Aaron et al. (2018) Epitope-specific affinity maturation improved stability of potent protease inhibitory antibodies. Biotechnol Bioeng 115:2673-2682
Limsakul, Praopim; Peng, Qin; Wu, Yiqian et al. (2018) Directed Evolution to Engineer Monobody for FRET Biosensor Assembly and Imaging at Live-Cell Surface. Cell Chem Biol 25:370-379.e4
Nam, Dong Hyun; Ge, Xin (2018) Generation of Highly Selective MMP Antibody Inhibitors. Methods Mol Biol 1731:307-324
Nuhn, Jacob A M; Perez, Anai M; Schneider, Ian C (2018) Contact guidance diversity in rotationally aligned collagen matrices. Acta Biomater 66:248-257
Lopez, Tyler; Ramirez, Aaron; Benitez, Chris et al. (2018) Selectivity Conversion of Protease Inhibitory Antibodies. Antib Ther 1:55-63
Chen, Kuan-Hui E; Chen, Chuan; Lopez, Tyler et al. (2018) Use of a novel camelid-inspired human antibody demonstrates the importance of MMP-14 to cancer stem cell function in the metastatic process. Oncotarget 9:29431-29444
Nam, Dong Hyun; Fang, Kuili; Rodriguez, Carlos et al. (2017) Generation of inhibitory monoclonal antibodies targeting matrix metalloproteinase-14 by motif grafting and CDR optimization. Protein Eng Des Sel 30:113-118
Lopez, Tyler; Nam, Dong Hyun; Kaihara, Evan et al. (2017) Identification of highly selective MMP-14 inhibitory Fabs by deep sequencing. Biotechnol Bioeng 114:1140-1150
Lee, Ki Baek; Nam, Dong Hyun; Nuhn, Jacob A M et al. (2017) Direct expression of active human tissue inhibitors of metalloproteinases by periplasmic secretion in Escherichia coli. Microb Cell Fact 16:73

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