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Molecular cancer therapeutics

A novel therapeutic strategy to rescue the immune effector function of proteolytically inactivated cancer therapeutic antibodies.


PMID 25552368

Abstract

Primary and acquired resistance to anticancer antibody immunotherapies presents significant clinical challenges. Here, we demonstrate that proteolytic inactivation of cancer-targeting antibodies is an unappreciated contributor to cancer immune evasion, and the finding presents novel opportunities for therapeutic intervention. A single peptide bond cleavage in the IgG1 hinge impairs cancer cell killing due to structural derangement of the Fc region. Hinge-cleaved trastuzumab gradually accumulated on the surfaces of HER2-expressing cancer cell lines in vitro, and was greatly accelerated when the cells were engineered to express the potent bacterial IgG-degrading proteinase (IdeS). Similar to cancer-related matrix metalloproteinases (MMP), IdeS exposes a hinge neoepitope that we have developed an antibody, mAb2095-2, to specifically target the epitope. In in vitro studies, mAb2095-2 restored the lost antibody-dependent cell-mediated cytotoxicity functionality of cell-bound single-cleaved trastuzumab (scIgG-T). In vivo, mAb2095-2 rescued the impaired Fc-dependent tumor-suppressive activity of scIgG-T in a xenograft tumor model and restored the recruitment of immune effector cells into the tumor microenvironment. More importantly, an Fc-engineered proteinase-resistant version of mAb2095-2 rescued trastuzumab antitumor efficacy in a mouse tumor model with human cancer cells secreting IdeS, whereas trastuzumab alone showed significantly reduced antitumor activity in the same model. Consistently, an Fc-engineered proteinase-resistant version of trastuzumab also greatly improved antitumor efficacy in the xenograft tumor model. Taken together, these findings point to a novel cancer therapeutic strategy to rescue proteolytic damage of antibody effector function by an Fc-engineered mAb against the hinge neoepitope and to overcome cancer evasion of antibody immunity.

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