alexa Site-specific antibody-drug conjugation through an engineered glycotransferase and a chemically reactive sugar.


Immunotherapy: Open Access

Author(s): Zhu Z, Ramakrishnan B, Li J, Wang Y, Feng Y

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Conjugation of small molecule drugs to specific sites on the antibody molecule has been increasingly used for the generation of relatively homogenous preparations of antibody-drug conjugates (ADCs) with physicochemical properties similar or identical to those of the naked antibody. Previously a method for conjugation of small molecules to glycoproteins through existing glycans by using an engineered glycotransferase and a chemically reactive sugar as a handle was developed. Here, for the first time, we report the use of this method with some modifications to generate an ADC from a monoclonal antibody, m860, which we identified from a human naïve phage display Fab library by panning against the extracellular domain of human HER2. M860 bound to cell surface-associated HER2 with affinity comparable to that of Trastuzumab (Herceptin), but to a different epitope. The m860ADC was generated by enzymatically adding a reactive keto-galactose to m860 using an engineered glycotransferase and conjugating the reactive m860 to aminooxy auristatin F. It exhibited potent and specific cell-killing activity against HER2 positive cancer cells, including trastuzumab-resistant breast cancer cells. This unique ADC may have utility as a potential therapeutic for HER2 positive cancers alone or in combination with other drugs. Our results also validate the keto-galactose/engineered glycotransferase method for generation of functional ADCs, which could potentially also be used for preparation of ADCs targeting other disease markers. This article was published in MAbs and referenced in Immunotherapy: Open Access

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