Author(s): Ferrara C, Stuart F, Sondermann P, Brnker P, Umaa P
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Abstract FcgammaRIIIa plays a prominent role in the elimination of tumor cells by antibody-based cancer therapies. Non-fucosylated bisected IgGs bind this receptor with increased affinity and trigger FcgammaRIII-mediated effector functions more efficiently than native, fucosylated antibodies. In this study the contribution of the carbohydrates of both binding partners to the strength of the complex was analyzed. Glycoengineering of the antibody increased affinity for two polymorphic forms of soluble human FcgammaRIIIa (by up to 50-fold) but did not affect binding to the inhibitory FcgammaRIIb receptor. While the absence of carbohydrate at FcgammaRIIIa's Asn-162 increased affinity for native IgG, presumably due to the removal of steric hindrance caused by the bulky sugars, it unexpectedly reduced affinity for glycoengineered (GE) antibodies by over one order of magnitude, bringing the affinity down to the same level as for native IgG. We conclude that the high affinity between GE antibodies and FcgammaRIII is mediated by productive interactions formed between the receptor carbohydrate attached at Asn-162 and regions of the Fc that are only accessible when it is nonfucosylated. As FcgammaRIIIa and FcgammaRIIIb are the only human Fcgamma receptors glycosylated at this position, the proposed interactions explain the observed selective affinity increase of GE antibodies for only these receptors. Furthermore, we predict from our structural model that only one of the two Fc-fucose residues needs to be absent for increased binding affinity toward FcgammaRIII. This information can be exploited for the design of new antibodies with altered Fc receptor binding affinity and enhanced therapeutic potential.
This article was published in J Biol Chem
and referenced in Journal of Glycomics & Lipidomics