Biological chemistry

Transcytosis of payloads that are non-covalently complexed to bispecific antibodies across the hCMEC/D3 blood-brain barrier model.

PMID 29466231


A transcellular shuttle system was generated for the delivery of non-covalently linked payloads across blood-brain barrier (BBB) endothelial cells. Transcytosis-enabling shuttles are composed of bispecific antibodies (bsAbs) that simultaneously bind transferrin receptor (TfR) and haptens such as digoxigenin or biocytinamide. Haptenylated payloads are attached to these vehicles via non-covalent hapten-antibody complexation. This enables targeting to and internalization into human BBB-derived microvascular endothelial hCMEC/D3 cells. In contrast to other shuttles, this system does not require special affinities or formats of their TfR-binding moieties for transcytosis and subsequent release. Non-covalent payload complexation to bsAb is flexible and robust, works for a multitude of payloads and enables separation of payloads from shuttles during transcytosis. Released payloads can enter the brain without connected bsAb entities, minimizing potential interference with distribution or functionality. Intracellular separation of shuttle and payload and recycling to cell surfaces may also enable recharging of the cell-bound BBB shuttle with payload for subsequent (merry-go-round) transport cycles.