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Concept: Fc receptor


Libraries based on an isolated human immunoglobulin G1 (IgG1) constant domain 2 (CH2) have been previously diversified by random mutagenesis. However, native isolated CH2 is not very stable and the generation of many mutations could lead to an increase in immunogenicity. Recently, we demonstrated that engineering an additional disulfide bond and removing seven N-terminal residues results in an engineered antibody domain (eAd) (m01s) with highly increased stability and enhanced binding to human neonatal Fc receptor (FcRn) (Gong et al, JBC, 2009 and 2011). We and others have also previously shown that grafting of the heavy chain complementarity region 3 (CDR-H3 (H3)) onto cognate positions of the variable domain leads to highly diversified libraries from which a number of binders to various antigens have been selected. However, grafting of H3s to non-cognate positions in constant domains results in additional residues at the junctions of H3s and the CH2 framework. Here we describe a new method based on multi-step PCR that allows the precise replacement of loop FG (no changes in its flanking sequences) by human H3s from another library. Using this method and limited mutagenesis of loops BC and DE we generated an eAd phage-displayed library. Panning of this library against an HIV-1 gp41 MPER peptide resulted in selection of a binder, m2a1, which neutralized HIV-1 isolates from different clades with modest activity and retained the m01s capability of binding to FcRn. This result provides a proof of concept that CH2-based antigen binders that also mimic to certain extent other functions of full-size antibodies (binding to FcRn) can be generated; we have previously hypothesized that such binders can be made and coined the term nanoantibodies (nAbs). Further studies in animal models and in humans will show how useful nAbs could be as therapeutics and diagnostics.

Concepts: Immune system, Antibody, Protein, Fc receptor, Antigen, Epitope, Variable, Binder


BACKGROUND: The objective of this study was to compare celiac disease (CD)– specific antibody tests to determine if they could replace jejunal biopsy in patients with a high pretest probability of CD. METHODS: This retrospective study included sera from 149 CD patients and 119 controls, all with intestinal biopsy. All samples were analyzed for IgA and IgG antibodies against native gliadin (ngli) and deamidated gliadin peptides (dpgli), as well as for IgA antibodies against tissue transglutaminase and endomysium. RESULTS: dpgli were superior to ngli for IgG antibody determination: 68% vs. 92% specificity and 79% vs. 85% sensitivity for ngli and dpgli, respectively. Positive (76% vs. 93%) and negative (72% vs. 83%) predictive values were also higher for dpgli than for ngli. Regarding IgA gliadin antibody determination, sensitivity improved from 61% to 78% with dpgli, while specificity and positive predictive value remained at 97% (P < 0.00001). A combination of four tests (IgA anti-dpgli, IgG anti-dpgli, IgA anti- tissue transglutaminase, and IgA anti-endomysium) yielded positive and negative predictive values of 99% and 100%, respectively and a likelihood ratio positive of 86 with a likelihood ratio negative of 0.00. Omitting the endomysium antibody determination still yielded positive and negative predictive values of 99% and 98%, respectively and a likelihood ratio positive of 87 with a likelihood ratio negative of 0.01. CONCLUSION: dpgli yielded superior results compared with ngli. A combination of three or four antibody tests including IgA anti-tissue transglutaminase and/or IgA anti- endomysium permitted diagnosis or exclusion of CD without intestinal biopsy in a high proportion of patients (78%). Jejunal biopsy would be necessary in patients with discordant antibody results (22%). With this two-step procedure, only patients with no CD-specific antibodies would be missed.

Concepts: Immune system, Antibody, Fc receptor, Glycoproteins, Positive predictive value, Negative predictive value, Antibodies, Coeliac disease


A highly-concentrated (20%) immunoglobulin G (IgG) preparation for subcutaneous administration (IGSC 20%), would offer a new option for antibody replacement therapy in patients with primary immunodeficiency diseases (PIDD). The efficacy, safety, tolerability and pharmacokinetics of IGSC 20% were evaluated in a prospective trial in Europe in 49 patients with PIDD aged 2 to 67 years. Over a median of 358 days, patients received 2349 IGSC 20% infusions at monthly doses equivalent to those administered for previous intravenous or subcutaneous IgG treatment. The rate of validated acute bacterial infections (VASBIs) was significantly lower than 1 per year (0.022/patient-year, p<0.0001); the rate of all infections was 4.38/patient-year. Median trough IgG concentrations were ≥8g/l. There was no serious adverse event (AE) deemed related to IGSC 20% treatment; related non-serious AEs occurred at a rate of 0.101 event/infusion. The incidence of local related AEs was 0.069 event/infusion (0.036 event/infusion, when excluding a 13 year-old patient who reported 79/162 total related local AEs). The incidence of related systemic AEs was 0.032 event/infusion. Most related AEs were mild, none severe. For 64.6% of patients and in 94.8% of IGSC 20% infusions, no local related AE occurred. The median infusion duration was 0.95 (range: 0.3-4.1) h using mostly 1 to 2 administration sites (median = 2 sites [range: 1-5]). Almost all infusions (99.8%) were administered without interruption/stopping or rate reduction. These results demonstrate that IGSC 20% provides an effective and well-tolerated therapy for patients previously on intravenous or subcutaneous treatment, without the need for dose adjustment. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

Concepts: Immune system, Antibody, Bacteria, Fc receptor, Immunology, X-linked agammaglobulinemia, Immunodeficiency, Primary immunodeficiency


A simple, accurate, sensitive and robust assay that can rapidly and specifically measure the death of target cells would have applications in many areas of biomedicine and particularly for the development of novel cellular- and immune-therapeutics. In this study, we describe a novel cytotoxicity assay, termed the Matador assay, which takes advantage of the extreme brightness, stability and glow-like characteristics of recently discovered novel marine luciferases and their engineered derivatives. The assay involves expression of a luciferase of interest in target cells in a manner so that it is preferentially retained within the healthy cells but is either released from dead and dying cells or whose activity can be preferentially measured in dead and dying cells. We demonstrate that this assay is highly sensitive, specific, rapid, and can be performed in a single-step manner without the need for any expensive equipment. We further validate this assay by demonstrating its ability to detect cytotoxicity induced by several cellular and immune-therapeutic agents including antibodies, natural killer cells, chimeric antigen receptor expressing T cells and a bispecific T cell engager.

Concepts: Immune system, Lymphocyte, Antibody, Protein, Fc receptor, Natural killer cell, T cell, Cytotoxicity


For better efficiency in the establishment of American tegumentary leishmaniasis clinical cure, the World Health Organization suggests that the clinical criteria are supported by serologic data. The present study aims to investigate the dynamics of IgG subclass production in clinical evolution post-treatment of cutaneous leishmaniasis (CL). Paired sera from 23 subjects with CL resulting from Leishmania braziliensis infection were studied during the active lesion phase (aCL) and after clinical cure post-therapy (hCL), which included an alternative protocol with a low dose of antimony. Anti-Leishmania IgG and its subclasses were measured using ELISA, and the immunoglobulin levels were correlated with patients' clinical data. All of the subjects were clinically healed and did not present relapse during follow-up. Serum levels of anti-Leishmania IgG (r = -0·79; P < 0·0001), IgG1 (r = -0·64, P < 0·001) and IgG3 (r = -0·42, P < 0·045) in hCL were negatively correlated with the duration of clinical cure. After 24 months of clinical cure, 73% of samples were negative for IgG1 and 78% were negative for IgG3. In conclusion, the detection of serum anti-Leishmania IgG1 and IgG3 is an improved laboratory strategy to aid in the decision of interruption of the ambulatory follow-up of CL patients.

Concepts: Immune system, Fc receptor, Hypersensitivity, Immunoglobulin G, Leishmaniasis, Cutaneous leishmaniasis, Leishmania, IgG


Targeting the androgen receptor (AR) pathway prolongs survival in patients with prostate cancer, but resistance rapidly develops. Understanding this resistance is confounded by a lack of noninvasive means to assess AR activity in vivo. We report intracellular accumulation of a secreted antigen-targeted antibody (SATA) that can be used to characterize disease, guide therapy, and monitor response. AR-regulated human kallikrein-related peptidase 2 (free hK2) is a prostate tissue-specific antigen produced in prostate cancer and androgen-stimulated breast cancer cells. Fluorescent and radio conjugates of 11B6, an antibody targeting free hK2, are internalized and noninvasively report AR pathway activity in metastatic and genetically engineered models of cancer development and treatment. Uptake is mediated by a mechanism involving the neonatal Fc receptor. Humanized 11B6, which has undergone toxicological tests in nonhuman primates, has the potential to improve patient management in these cancers. Furthermore, cell-specific SATA uptake may have a broader use for molecularly guided diagnosis and therapy in other cancers.

Concepts: Immune system, Cancer, Breast cancer, Metastasis, Fc receptor, Oncology, Prostate cancer, BRCA2


Diagnosis of active Helicobacter pylori infection in intellectually disabled (ID) children is problematic because they are unable to cooperate with performance of invasive tests. In this study, the non-invasive methods of measuring serum IgG antibody concentrations and performing stool antigen tests were used to screen for H. pylori infection in ID children. Eighty-seven children with intellectual disabilities were studied. The amount of serum IgG antibody against H. pylori was measured by the ELISA method. Stool samples were examined using an amplified IDEIA HpStAR kit. To assess categorical variables, X(2) , Fisher’s exact and Kappa tests were used. The stool antigen tests showed that 93.1% of the children had H. pylori antigen and the serology test that 85.1% of children were positive for H. pylori IgG antibodies. Agreement between results of H. pylori stool antigen (HpSA) testing and IgG antibody serology was 82.8%; however, according to the kappa measure of agreement this agreement is not statistically significant (value, 0.128; P = 0.19). Discordant results were observed for 15 children (17.2%): 11 (12.6%) who were positive on HpSA test but negative by serology and 4 (4.6%) who were IgG seropositive but had negative HpSA tests. This study showed a notably higher rate of H. pylori infection in ID children than has been reported by others for non-ID children from the same geographical area. The HpSA test is a valid method for primary screening for H. pylori infection in ID children; it detects the specific antigens shed during active infections and has less cross-reactivity than serological tests that detect antibodies. HpSA is a sensitive non-invasive method for detecting infection in ID children and may serve as an accurate alternative to serology.

Concepts: Immune system, Antibody, Bacteria, Fc receptor, Gastroenterology, ELISA, Helicobacter pylori, Serology


Several neonatal Fc receptor (FcRn) variants of an anti-tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α humanized monoclonal IgG antibodies (mAbs) were developed but the effect of their differential FcRn binding affinities on pharmacokinetic (PK) behavior were difficult to be definitively measured in vivo due to formation of anti-therapeutic antibody (ATA). A semi-mechanistic model was developed to investigate the quantitative relationship between the FcRn binding affinity and PK of mAbs in cynomolgus monkey with the presence of ATA.

Concepts: Immune system, Antibody, Fc receptor, Glycoproteins, Immunology, Immunoglobulin G, Antibodies, IgG


Natural killer (NK) cells are known to play a role in mediating innate immunity, in enhancing adaptive immune responses, and have been implicated in mediating anti-tumor responses via antibody-dependent cell-mediated cytotoxicity (ADCC) by reactivity of CD16 with the Fc region of human IgG1 antibodies. The NK-92 cell line, derived from a lymphoma patient, has previously been well characterized and adoptive transfer of irradiated NK-92 cells has demonstrated safety and shown preliminary evidence of clinical benefit in cancer patients. The NK-92 cell line, devoid of CD16, has now been engineered to express the high affinity (ha) CD16 V158 FcγRIIIa receptor, as well as engineered to express IL-2; IL-2 has been shown to replenish the granular stock of NK cells, leading to enhanced perforin- and granzyme-mediated lysis of tumor cells. The studies reported here show high levels of granzyme in haNK cells, and demonstrate the effects of irradiation of haNK cells on multiple phenotypic markers, viability, IL-2 production, and lysis of a spectrum of human tumor cells. Studies also compare endogenous irradiated haNK lysis of tumor cells with that of irradiated haNK-mediated ADCC using cetuximab, trastuzumab and pertuzumab monoclonal antibodies. These studies thus provide the rationale for the potential use of irradiated haNK cells in adoptive transfer studies for a range of human tumor types. Moreover, since only approximately 10% of humans are homozygous for the high affinity V CD16 allele, these studies also provide the rationale for the use of irradiated haNK cells in combination with IgG1 anti-tumor monoclonal antibodies.

Concepts: Immune system, Lymphocyte, Antibody, Fc receptor, Virus, Immunology, Natural killer cell, Cytotoxicity


Secretory immunoglobulin A (SIgA) shields the gut epithelium from luminal antigens and contributes to host-microbe symbiosis. However, how antibody responses are regulated to achieve sustained host-microbe interactions is unknown. We found that mice and humans exhibited longitudinal persistence of clonally related B cells in the IgA repertoire despite major changes in the microbiota during antibiotic treatment or infection. Memory B cells recirculated between inductive compartments and were clonally related to plasma cells in gut and mammary glands. Our findings suggest that continuous diversification of memory B cells constitutes a central process for establishing symbiotic host-microbe interactions and offer an explanation of how maternal antibodies are optimized throughout life to protect the newborn.

Concepts: Immune system, Antibody, Protein, Bacteria, Immunoglobulin A, Fc receptor, Glycoproteins, Epitope