Scientific reports

Targeting of phage particles towards endothelial cells by antibodies selected through a multi-parameter selection strategy.

PMID 28186116


One of the hallmarks of cancer is sustained angiogenesis. Here, normal endothelial cells are activated, and their formation of new blood vessels leads to continued tumour growth. An improved patient condition is often observed when angiogenesis is prevented or normalized through targeting of these genomically stable endothelial cells. However, intracellular targets constitute a challenge in therapy, as the agents modulating these targets have to be delivered and internalized specifically to the endothelial cells. Selection of antibodies binding specifically to certain cell types is well established. It is nonetheless a challenge to ensure that the binding of antibodies to the target cell will mediate internalization. Previously selection of such antibodies has been performed targeting cancer cell lines; most often using either monovalent display or polyvalent display. In this article, we describe selections that isolate internalizing antibodies by sequential combining monovalent and polyvalent display using two types of helper phages, one which increases display valence and one which reduces background. One of the selected antibodies was found to mediate internalization into human endothelial cells, although our results confirms that the single stranded nature of the DNA packaged into phage particles may limit applications aimed at targeting nucleic acids in mammalian cells.