Engineering of aglycosylated antibody Fc for effector functions
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The antibody Fc region is critical for the therapeutic potency by virtue of its role in recruiting and activating the cytotoxic pathways of immune cells, complement activation and its role in antibody homeostasis (a process mediated by the pH dependent binding to the neonatal receptor FcRn). Bacterially produced antibodies lack of glycosylation at Asn297 and therefore do not bind to the surface Fc[gamma]Rs on effector innate immune cells, nor can they activate complement. This dissertation describes the engineering of aglycosylated bacterially expressed antibodies for binding to a specific Fc[gamma]R and therefore eliciting therapeutically relevant effector functions. Aglycosylated Fc mutants that bind to desired Fc binding ligands were isolated by a new E. coli homodimeric Fc display system coupled with high throughput flow cytometry. Two amino acids mutation in the CH3 domain (Fc5) conferred selectively high binding affinity of aglycosylated Fc domains to the Fc[gamma]RI receptor. Flow cytometry screening from a randomized Fc5 library resulted in the isolation of Fc mutants exhibiting higher affinity binding to Fc[gamma]RI receptor than the Fc5. Aglycosylated Fc[gamma]RI specific IgG containing the variable regions of the clinically important anti-Her2 antibody trastuzumab elicited dendritic cell-mediated ADCC in sharp contrast to the clinical grade trastuzumab (Herceptin) or the glycosylated coutreparts of the engineered antibodies, neither of which could potentiate target cell lysis with dendritic cells as effectors. In separate studies, a system was developed for the screening of periplasmically anchored E. coli libraries and the isolation of clones expressing antibodies that are specific to insoluble antigens or to cell surface markers. Following three rounds of flow cytometric screening, spheroplasts expressing specific scFvs were enriched 950-fold from a large excess (1,000x) of spheroplasts expressing nonspecific antibodies.