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Cancer Res. 2001 Oct 1;61(19):7002-8.

Complete inhibition of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) activities with a bifunctional diabody directed against both VEGF kinase receptors, fms-like tyrosine kinase receptor and kinase insert domain-containing receptor.

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  • 1Department of Molecular and Cell Biology, ImClone Systems Inc., New York, New York 10014, USA.


Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) binds to and mediates its activity mainly through two tyrosine kinase receptors, VEGF receptor 1 [or fms-like tyrosine kinase receptor (Flt-1)] and VEGF receptor 2 [or kinase insert domain-containing receptor (KDR)]. Numerous studies have shown that overexpression of VEGF and its receptor plays an important role in tumor-associated angiogenesis and hence in both tumor growth and metastasis. We demonstrated previously that antagonistic antibodies to KDR specifically inhibited VEGF-stimulated receptor activation, cell migration, and endothelial cell mitogenesis. Here we constructed a recombinant bifunctional diabody that is capable of blocking both Flt-1 and KDR from binding to their ligands, including VEGF and placenta growth factor (PlGF). The diabody was expressed in Escherichia coli and purified by single-step affinity chromatography. The diabody retained the capacity to bind both KDR and Flt-1 and effectively blocked interaction between KDR and VEGF, Flt-1 and VEGF, and Flt-1 and PlGF. Furthermore, the diabody is a stronger inhibitor than its parent antibodies to VEGF-stimulated mitogenesis of human endothelial cells, as well as both VEGF- and PlGF-induced migration of human leukemia cells. Taken together, our results suggest that dual receptor blockade with the bifunctional diabody may prove to be a more efficient approach in inhibiting VEGF-stimulated angiogenesis.

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