GingisKHAN™ protease cleavage allows a high-throughput antibody to Fab conversion enabling direct functional assessment during lead identification of human monoclonal and bispecific IgG1 antibodies.

PMID 28805498


The determination of the binding strength of immunoglobulins (IgGs) to targets can be influenced by avidity when the targets are soluble di- or multimeric proteins, or associated to cell surfaces, including surfaces introduced from heterogeneous assays. However, for the understanding of the contribution of a second drug-to-target binding site in molecular design, or for ranking of monovalent binders during lead identification, affinity-based assessment of the binding strength is required. Typically, monovalent binders like antigen-binding fragments (Fabs) are generated by proteolytic cleavage with papain, which often results in a combination of under- and over-digestion, and requires specific optimization and chromatographic purification of the desired Fabs. Alternatively, the Fabs are produced by recombinant approaches. Here, we report a lean approach for the functional assessment of human IgG1s during lead identification based on an in-solution digestion with the GingisKHAN™ protease, generating a homogenous pool of intact Fabs and Fcs and enabling direct assaying of the Fab in the digestion mixture. The digest with GingisKHAN™ is highly specific and quantitative, does not require much optimization, and the protease does not interfere with methods typically applied for lead identification, such as surface plasmon resonance or cell-based assays. GingisKHAN™ is highly suited to differentiate between affinity and avidity driven binding of human IgG1 monoclonal and bispecific antibodies during lead identification.