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Antibodies, Volume 10, Issue 1 (March 2021) – 11 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2) is a novel coronavirus for which no known effective antiviral drugs are available. In the present study, to accelerate the discovery of potential drug candidates, bioinformatics-based in silico drug discovery approaches are utilized. We performed multiple sequence alignments of the Spike (S) protein with 75 sequences of different viruses from the Orthocoronavirinae subfamily. This provided us with insights into the evolutionarily conserved domains that can be targeted using drugs or specific antibodies. Further, we analyzed the mechanism of SARS-CoV-2 core proteins, i.e., S and RdRp (RNA-dependent RNA polymerase), to elucidate how the virus infection can utilize hemoglobin to decrease the blood oxygen level. The present study can be a steppingstone in the selection of potential drug candidates to be used either as a treatment [...] Read more.
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Article
HDX-MS for Epitope Characterization of a Therapeutic ANTIBODY Candidate on the Calcium-Binding Protein Annexin-A1
Antibodies 2021, 10(1), 11; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/antib10010011 - 19 Mar 2021
Viewed by 1454
Abstract
Annexin-A1 (ANXA1) belongs to a class of highly homologous Ca2+-dependent phospholipid-binding proteins. Its structure consists of a core region composed of four homologous repeats arranged in a compact, hydrolysis-resistant structure and an N-terminal region with a Ca2+-dependent conformation. ANXA1 [...] Read more.
Annexin-A1 (ANXA1) belongs to a class of highly homologous Ca2+-dependent phospholipid-binding proteins. Its structure consists of a core region composed of four homologous repeats arranged in a compact, hydrolysis-resistant structure and an N-terminal region with a Ca2+-dependent conformation. ANXA1 is involved in several processes, including cell proliferation, apoptosis, metastasis, and the inflammatory response. Therefore, the development of antibodies blocking selected regions on ANXA1 holds great potential for the development of novel therapeutics treating inflammatory and cancer diseases. Here, we report the interaction site between an ANXA1-specific antibody known to inhibit T cell activation without adverse cytotoxic effects and ANXA1 using amide hydrogen–deuterium exchange mass spectrometry (HDX-MS). For the epitope determination, we applied two bottom-up HDX-MS approaches with pepsin digestion in solution and immobilized on beads. Both strategies revealed the interaction region within domain III of ANXA1 in Ca2+-bound conformation. The antibody-binding region correlates with the hydrophobic binding pocket of the N-terminal domain formed in the absence of calcium. This study demonstrates that even cryptic and flexible binding regions can be studied by HDX-MS, allowing a fast and efficient determination of the binding sites of antibodies which will help to define a mode of action profile for their use in therapy. Full article
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Review
Utilizing Immunocytokines for Cancer Therapy
Antibodies 2021, 10(1), 10; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/antib10010010 - 09 Mar 2021
Viewed by 1657
Abstract
Cytokine therapy for cancer has indicated efficacy in certain diseases but is generally accompanied by severe toxicity. The field of antibody–cytokine fusion proteins (immunocytokines) arose to target these effector molecules to the tumor environment in order to expand the therapeutic window of cytokine [...] Read more.
Cytokine therapy for cancer has indicated efficacy in certain diseases but is generally accompanied by severe toxicity. The field of antibody–cytokine fusion proteins (immunocytokines) arose to target these effector molecules to the tumor environment in order to expand the therapeutic window of cytokine therapy. Pre-clinical evidence has shown the increased efficacy and decreased toxicity of various immunocytokines when compared to their cognate unconjugated cytokine. These anti-tumor properties are markedly enhanced when combined with other treatments such as chemotherapy, radiotherapy, and checkpoint inhibitor antibodies. Clinical trials that have continued to explore the potential of these biologics for cancer therapy have been conducted. This review covers the in vitro, in vivo, and clinical evidence for the application of immunocytokines in immuno-oncology. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Antibody Engineering for Cancer Immunotherapy)
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Review
Antinuclear Autoantibodies in Health: Autoimmunity Is Not a Synonym of Autoimmune Disease
Antibodies 2021, 10(1), 9; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/antib10010009 - 25 Feb 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1751
Abstract
The incidence of autoimmune diseases is increasing. Antinuclear antibody (ANA) testing is a critical tool for their diagnosis. However, ANA prevalence in healthy persons has increased over the last decades, especially among young people. ANA in health occurs in low concentrations, with a [...] Read more.
The incidence of autoimmune diseases is increasing. Antinuclear antibody (ANA) testing is a critical tool for their diagnosis. However, ANA prevalence in healthy persons has increased over the last decades, especially among young people. ANA in health occurs in low concentrations, with a prevalence up to 50% in some populations, which demands a cutoff revision. This review deals with the origin and probable physiological or compensatory function of ANA in health, according to the concept of immunological clearance, theory of autoimmune regulation of cell functions, and the concept of functional autoantibodies. Considering ANA titers ≤1:320 as a serological marker of autoimmune diseases seems inappropriate. The role of anti-DFS70/LEDGFp75 autoantibodies is highlighted as a possible anti-risk biomarker for autoimmune rheumatic disorders. ANA prevalence in health is different in various regions due to several underlying causes discussed in the review, all influencing additive combinations according to the concept of the mosaic of autoimmunity. Not only are titers, but also HEp-2 IFA) staining patterns, such as AC-2, important. Accepting autoantibodies as a kind of bioregulator, not only the upper, but also the lower borders of their normal range should be determined; not only their excess, but also a lack of them or “autoimmunodeficiency” could be the reason for disorders. Full article
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Article
Characterization and Modeling of Reversible Antibody Self-Association Provide Insights into Behavior, Prediction, and Correction
Antibodies 2021, 10(1), 8; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/antib10010008 - 15 Feb 2021
Viewed by 2103
Abstract
Reversible antibody self-association, while having major developability and therapeutic implications, is not fully understood or readily predictable and correctable. For a strongly self-associating humanized mAb variant, resulting in unacceptable viscosity, the monovalent affinity of self-interaction was measured in the low μM range, typical [...] Read more.
Reversible antibody self-association, while having major developability and therapeutic implications, is not fully understood or readily predictable and correctable. For a strongly self-associating humanized mAb variant, resulting in unacceptable viscosity, the monovalent affinity of self-interaction was measured in the low μM range, typical of many specific and biologically relevant protein–protein interactions. A face-to-face interaction model extending across both the heavy-chain (HC) and light-chain (LC) Complementary Determining Regions (CDRs) was apparent from biochemical and mutagenesis approaches as well as computational modeling. Light scattering experiments involving individual mAb, Fc, Fab, and Fab’2 domains revealed that Fabs self-interact to form dimers, while bivalent mAb/Fab’2 forms lead to significant oligomerization. Site-directed mutagenesis of aromatic residues identified by homology model patch analysis and self-docking dramatically affected self-association, demonstrating the utility of these predictive approaches, while revealing a highly specific and tunable nature of self-binding modulated by single point mutations. Mutagenesis at these same key HC/LC CDR positions that affect self-interaction also typically abolished target binding with notable exceptions, clearly demonstrating the difficulties yet possibility of correcting self-association through engineering. Clear correlations were also observed between different methods used to assess self-interaction, such as Dynamic Light Scattering (DLS) and Affinity-Capture Self-Interaction Nanoparticle Spectroscopy (AC-SINS). Our findings advance our understanding of therapeutic protein and antibody self-association and offer insights into its prediction, evaluation and corrective mitigation to aid therapeutic development. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Design, Production and Characterization of Peptide Antibodies)
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Article
Trastuzumab Blocks the Receiver Function of HER2 Leading to the Population Shifts of HER2-Containing Homodimers and Heterodimers
Antibodies 2021, 10(1), 7; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/antib10010007 - 04 Feb 2021
Viewed by 2027
Abstract
HER2, a member of the Erythroblastosis Protein B/Human Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor (ErbB/HER) family of receptor tyrosine kinase, is overexpressed in 20~30% of human breast cancers. Trastuzumab, a HER2-targeted therapeutic monoclonal antibody, was developed to interfere with the homodimerization of HER2 in HER2-overexpressing [...] Read more.
HER2, a member of the Erythroblastosis Protein B/Human Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor (ErbB/HER) family of receptor tyrosine kinase, is overexpressed in 20~30% of human breast cancers. Trastuzumab, a HER2-targeted therapeutic monoclonal antibody, was developed to interfere with the homodimerization of HER2 in HER2-overexpressing breast cancer cells, which attenuates HER2-mediated signaling. Trastuzumab binds to the domain IV of the HER2 extracellular domain and does not directly block the dimerization interface of HER2-HER2 molecules. The three-dimensional structures of the tyrosine kinase domains of ErbB/HER family receptors show asymmetrical packing of the two monomers with distinct conformations. One monomer functions as an activator, whereas the other acts as a receiver. Once activated, the receiver monomer phosphorylates the activator or other proteins. Interestingly, in our previous work, we found that the binding of trastuzumab induced phosphorylation of HER2 with the phosphorylation pattern of HER2 that is different from that mediated by epidermal growth factor (EGF) in human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2)-positive breast cancer. Binding of trastuzumab to HER2 promoted an allosteric effect of HER2, in both tyrosine kinase domain and ectodomain of HER2 although details of allosteric regulation were missing. In this study, we utilized molecular dynamics (MD) simulations to model the allosteric consequences of trastuzumab binding to HER2 homodimers and heterodimers, along with the apo forms as controls. We focused on the conformational changes of HER2 in its monomeric and dimeric forms. The data indicated the apparent dual role of trastuzumab as an antagonist and an agonist. The molecular details of the simulation provide an atomic level description and molecular insight into the action of HER2-targeted antibody therapeutics. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection Computational Antibody and Antigen Design)
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Article
Novel Anti-FOLR1 Antibody–Drug Conjugate MORAb-202 in Breast Cancer and Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer Cells
Antibodies 2021, 10(1), 6; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/antib10010006 - 01 Feb 2021
Viewed by 2736
Abstract
Antibody–drug conjugates (ADCs), which are currently being developed, may become promising cancer therapeutics. Folate receptor α (FOLR1), a glycosylphosphatidylinositol-anchored membrane protein, is an attractive target of ADCs, as it is largely absent from normal tissues but is overexpressed in malignant tumors of epithelial [...] Read more.
Antibody–drug conjugates (ADCs), which are currently being developed, may become promising cancer therapeutics. Folate receptor α (FOLR1), a glycosylphosphatidylinositol-anchored membrane protein, is an attractive target of ADCs, as it is largely absent from normal tissues but is overexpressed in malignant tumors of epithelial origin, including ovarian, lung, and breast cancer. In this study, we tested the effects of novel anti-FOLR1 antibody–eribulin conjugate MORAb-202 in breast cancer and non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) cell lines. FOLR1 expression, cell proliferation, bystander killing effects, and apoptosis were evaluated in seven breast cancer and nine NSCLC cell lines treated with MORAb-202. Tumor growth and FOLR1 expression were assessed in T47D and MCF7 orthotopic xenograft mouse models after a single intravenous administration of MORAb-202 (5 mg/kg). MORAb-202 was associated with inhibited cell proliferation, with specific selectivity toward FOLR1-expressing breast cancer cell lines. Eribulin, the payload of MORAb-202, was unleashed in HCC1954 cells, diffused into intercellular spaces, and then killed the non-FOLR1-expressing MCF7 cells in co-culture systems. In orthotopic xenograft mouse models, FOLR1-expressing T47D tumors and non-FOLR1-expressing MCF7 tumors were suppressed upon MORAb-202 administration. The novel anti-FOLR1 antibody–eribulin conjugate MORAb-202 has potential antitumor effects in breast cancer. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Antibody–Drug Conjugates (ADCs))
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Editorial
Acknowledgment to Reviewers of Antibodies in 2020
Antibodies 2021, 10(1), 5; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/antib10010005 - 25 Jan 2021
Viewed by 1525
Abstract
Peer review is the driving force of journal development, and reviewers are gatekeepers who ensure that Antibodies maintains its standards for the high quality of its published papers [...] Full article
Review
Antibody Identification for Antigen Detection in Formalin-Fixed Paraffin-Embedded Tissue Using Phage Display and Naïve Libraries
Antibodies 2021, 10(1), 4; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/antib10010004 - 14 Jan 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2102
Abstract
Immunohistochemistry is a widely used technique for research and diagnostic purposes that relies on the recognition by antibodies of antigens expressed in tissues. However, tissue processing and particularly formalin fixation affect the conformation of these antigens through the formation of methylene bridges. Although [...] Read more.
Immunohistochemistry is a widely used technique for research and diagnostic purposes that relies on the recognition by antibodies of antigens expressed in tissues. However, tissue processing and particularly formalin fixation affect the conformation of these antigens through the formation of methylene bridges. Although antigen retrieval techniques can partially restore antigen immunoreactivity, it is difficult to identify antibodies that can recognize their target especially in formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded tissues. Most of the antibodies currently used in immunohistochemistry have been obtained by animal immunization; however, in vitro display techniques represent alternative strategies that have not been fully explored yet. This review provides an overview of phage display-based antibody selections using naïve antibody libraries on various supports (fixed cells, dissociated tissues, tissue fragments, and tissue sections) that have led to the identification of antibodies suitable for immunohistochemistry. Full article
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Article
Viroinformatics-Based Analysis of SARS-CoV-2 Core Proteins for Potential Therapeutic Targets
Antibodies 2021, 10(1), 3; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/antib10010003 - 11 Jan 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 3111
Abstract
SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2) is a novel coronavirus for which no known effective antiviral drugs are available. In the present study, to accelerate the discovery of potential drug candidates, bioinformatics-based in silico drug discovery approaches are utilized. We performed multiple [...] Read more.
SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2) is a novel coronavirus for which no known effective antiviral drugs are available. In the present study, to accelerate the discovery of potential drug candidates, bioinformatics-based in silico drug discovery approaches are utilized. We performed multiple sequence alignments of the Spike (S) protein with 75 sequences of different viruses from the Orthocoronavirinae subfamily. This provided us with insights into the evolutionarily conserved domains that can be targeted using drugs or specific antibodies. Further, we analyzed the mechanism of SARS-CoV-2 core proteins, i.e., S and RdRp (RNA-dependent RNA polymerase), to elucidate how the virus infection can utilize hemoglobin to decrease the blood oxygen level. Moreover, after a comprehensive literature survey, more than 60 antiviral drugs were chosen. The candidate drugs were then ranked based on their potential to interact with the Spike and RdRp proteins of SARS-CoV-2. The present multidimensional study further advances our understanding of the novel viral molecular targets and potential of computational approaches for therapeutic assessments. The present study can be a steppingstone in the selection of potential drug candidates to be used either as a treatment or as a reference point when designing a new drug/antibody/inhibitory peptide/vaccine against SARS-CoV-2. Full article
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Article
An Immunoregulatory Role for Complement Receptors in Murine Models of Breast Cancer
Antibodies 2021, 10(1), 2; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/antib10010002 - 08 Jan 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1842
Abstract
The complement system has demonstrated roles in regulating tumor growth, although these may differ between tumor types. The current study used two murine breast cancer models (EMT6 and 4T1) to investigate whether pharmacological targeting of receptors for complement proteins C3a (C3aR) and C5a [...] Read more.
The complement system has demonstrated roles in regulating tumor growth, although these may differ between tumor types. The current study used two murine breast cancer models (EMT6 and 4T1) to investigate whether pharmacological targeting of receptors for complement proteins C3a (C3aR) and C5a (C5aR1) is protective in murine breast cancer models. In contrast to prior studies in other tumor models, treatment with the selective C5aR1 antagonist PMX53 had no effect on tumor growth. However, treatment of mice with a dual C3aR/C5aR1 agonist (YSFKPMPLaR) significantly slowed mammary tumor development and progression. Examination of receptor expression by quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) analysis showed very low levels of mRNA expression for either C3aR or C5aR1 by EMT6 or 4T1 mammary carcinoma cell lines compared with the J774 macrophage line or bone marrow-derived macrophages. Moreover, flow cytometric analysis found no evidence of C3aR or C5aR1 protein expression by either EMT6 or 4T1 cells, leading us to hypothesize that the tumor inhibitory effects of the dual agonist are indirect, possibly via regulation of the anti-tumor immune response. This hypothesis was supported by flow cytometric analysis of tumor infiltrating leukocyte populations, which demonstrated a significant increase in T lymphocytes in mice treated with the C3aR/C5aR1 agonist. These results support an immunoregulatory role for complement receptors in primary murine mammary carcinoma models. They also suggest that complement activation peptides can influence the anti-tumor response in different ways depending on the cancer type, the host immune response to the tumor and levels of endogenous complement activation within the tumor microenvironment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Role of Complement in Cancer Immunotherapy)
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Article
Interspecies Scaling of Antibody–Drug Conjugates (ADC) for the Prediction of Human Clearance
Antibodies 2021, 10(1), 1; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/antib10010001 - 07 Jan 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1644
Abstract
Allometric scaling is a useful tool for the extrapolation of pharmacokinetic parameters from animals to humans. The objective of this study was to predict human clearance of antibody–drug conjugates (ADC) allometrically from one to three animal species and compare the predicted human clearance [...] Read more.
Allometric scaling is a useful tool for the extrapolation of pharmacokinetic parameters from animals to humans. The objective of this study was to predict human clearance of antibody–drug conjugates (ADC) allometrically from one to three animal species and compare the predicted human clearance with the observed human clearance. For three animal species allometric scaling, the “Rule of Exponents” (ROE) was used. The results of the study indicated that three-species allometric scaling in association with the ROE provides acceptable prediction (within 0.5–2-fold prediction error) of human clearance. The two-species allometric scaling resulted in substantial prediction error. One-species scaling using a fixed exponent of 1.0 provided acceptable prediction error (within 0.5–2-fold) by monkey, rat, and mouse, in which monkey and rat were comparable. Overall, the predicted human clearance values of ADCs from animal(s) was good. The allometric method proposed in this article can be used to predict human clearance from the animal data and subsequently to select the first-in-human dose of ADCs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Antibody–Drug Conjugates (ADCs))
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