Engineering the human Fc-region enables direct cell killing by cancer glycan-targeting antibodies without the need for immune effector cells or complement
Mireille Vankemmelbeke, Richard S. McIntosh, Jia Xin Chua, Thomas Kirk, Ian Daniels, Marilena Patsalidou, Robert Moss, Tina Parsons, David Scott, Gemma Harris, Judith M. Ramage, Ian Spendlove and Lindy G. Durrant
ABSTRACT: Murine IgG3 glycan-targeting mAb often induces direct cell killing in the absence of immune effector cells or complement via a proinflammatory mechanism resembling oncotic necrosis. This cancer cell killing is due to non-covalent association between Fc regions of neighboring antibodies, resulting in enhanced avidity. Human isotypes do not contain the residues underlying this cooperative binding mode; consequently, the direct cell killing of mouse IgG3 mAb is lost upon chimerization or humanization. Using the Lewisa/c/x -targeting 88mAb, we identified the murine IgG3 residues underlying the direct cell killing and increased avidity via a series of constant region shuffling and subdomain swapping approaches to create improved ('i') chimeric mAb with enhanced tumor killing in vitro and in vivo. Constant region shuffling identified a major CH3 and a minor CH2 contribution, which was further mapped to discontinuous regions among residues 286-306 and 339-378 that, when introduced in 88hIgG1, recapitulated the direct cell killing and avidity of 88mIgG3. Of greater interest was the creation of a sialyl-di-Lewisa -targeting i129G1 mAb via introduction of these selected residues into 129hIgG1, converting it into a direct cell killing mAb with enhanced avidity and significant in vivo tumor control. The human iG1 mAb, termed Avidimabs, retained effector functions, paving the way for the proinflammatory direct cell killing to promote ADCC and CDC through relief of immunosuppression. Ultimately, Fc engineering of human glycan-targeting IgG1 mAb confers proinflammatory direct cell killing and enhanced avidity, an approach that could be used to improve the avidity of other mAb with therapeutic potential.