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Effects of amino acid substitutions on the biological activity of anti-CD20 monoclonal antibody produced by transgenic silkworms (Bombyx mori)

Aoyama, Michihiko, Tada, Minoru, Tatematsu, Ken-Ichiro, Hashii, Noritaka, Sezutsu, Hideki, Ishii-Watabe, Akiko
Biochemical and biophysical research communications 2018 v.503 no.4 pp. 2633-2638
Bombyx mori, Chinese hamsters, amino acid substitution, animal ovaries, cytotoxicity, galactose, monoclonal antibodies, neoplasms, silkworms, therapeutics, transgenic insects
Recombinant monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) have been used in various therapeutic applications including cancer therapy. Fc-mediated effector functions play a pivotal role in the tumor-killing activities of some tumor-targeting mAbs, and Fc-engineering technologies with glyco-engineering or amino acid substitutions at the antibody Fc region have been used to enhance cytotoxic activities including antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity (ADCC). We previously reported that the mAbs produced using transgenic silkworms showed stronger ADCC activity and lower complement-dependent cytotoxicity (CDC) activity than mAbs derived from Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cells due to their unique N-glycan structure (lack of core-fucose and non-reducing terminal galactose). In this study, we generated anti-CD20 mAbs with amino acid substitutions using transgenic silkworms and analyzed their biological activities to assess the effect of the combination of glyco-engineering and amino acid substitutions on the Fc-mediated function of mAbs. Three types of amino acid substitutions at the Fc region (G236A/S239D/I332E, L234A/L235A, and K326W/E333S) modified the Fc-mediated biological activities of silkworm-derived mAbs as in the case of CHO-derived mAbs, resulting in the generation of Fc-engineered mAbs with characteristic Fc-mediated functions. The combination of amino acid substitutions at the Fc region and glyco-engineering using transgenic silkworm made it possible to generate Fc-engineered mAbs with suitable Fc-mediated biological functions depending on the pharmacological mechanism of their actions. Transgenic silkworms were shown to be a promising system for the production of Fc-engineered mAbs.