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Enhancement of the tumor penetration of monoclonal antibody by fusion of a neuropilin-targeting peptide improves the antitumor efficacy.

Shin, TH | Sung, ES | Kim, YJ | Kim, KS | Kim, SH | Kim, SK | Lee, YD  | Kim, YS
Molecular cancer therapeutics, 13(3). : 651-661, 2014
Journal Title
Molecular cancer therapeutics
The limited localization and penetration of monoclonal antibodies (mAb) into solid tumors restricts their antitumor efficacy. Here, we describe a solid tumor-targeting antibody with enhanced tumor penetration activity. We designed a 22-residue peptide (A22p), which was extracted from the C-terminal basic region of semaphorin 3A (Sema3A) but modified to have higher affinity with neuropilin receptors (NRP), and genetically fused it to the C-terminus of Fc of human immunoglobulin G1 via a 15-residue (G4S)3 linker, generating Fc-A22p, for the bivalent binding to NRPs. In contrast to Fc or the monovalent A22p peptide alone, Fc-A22p homed to tumor vessels and induced vascular permeability through VE-cadherin downregulation and penetrated tumor tissues by interacting with NRPs in mice bearing human tumor xenografts. We extended the Fc-A22p platform by generating mAb-A22p antibodies of two clinically approved solid tumor-targeting mAbs, the anti-EGF receptor mAb cetuximab (erbitux), and the anti-Her2 mAb trastuzumab (herceptin). The mAb-A22p antibodies retained the intrinsic antigen binding, natural Fc-like biophysical properties, and productivity in mammalian cell cultures, comparable with those of the parent mAbs. In mouse xenograft tumor models, the mAb-A22p antibodies more efficiently homed to tumor vessels and spread into the extravascular tumor parenchyma, which significantly enhanced antitumor efficacy compared with the parent mAbs. Our results suggest that mAb-A22p is a superior format for solid tumor-targeting antibodies due to its enhanced tumor tissue penetration and greater antitumor efficacy compared with conventional mAbs.

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