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J Cell Sci. 2005 Apr 1;118(Pt 7):1515-25. Epub 2005 Mar 15.

Internalization and recycling of ALCAM/CD166 detected by a fully human single-chain recombinant antibody.

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  • 1Istituto Nazionale per la Ricerca sul Cancro, Largo R. Benzi 10, 16132 Genova, Italy.


Activated leukocyte cell adhesion molecule (ALCAM/CD166), a member of the immunoglobulin superfamily with five extracellular immunoglobulin-like domains, promotes heterophilic (ALCAM-CD6) and homophilic (ALCAM-ALCAM) cell-cell interactions. Here we describe a fully human single-chain antibody fragment (scFv) directed to ALCAM/CD166. We selected the I/F8 scFv from a phage display library of human V-gene segments by cell panning and phage internalization into IGROV-I human ovary carcinoma cells. The I/F8 specificity was identified as ALCAM/CD166 by matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionisation time-of-flight (MALDI-TOF) peptide mass fingerprinting of the I/F8-immunoprecipitated protein. The I/F8 scFv reacts with the human, monkey and murine ALCAM/CD166 molecule, indicating that the recognized epitope is highly conserved. The I/F8 scFv completely abolished binding of both ALCAM/Fc and CD6/Fc soluble ligands, whereas it did not compete with the anti-ALCAM/CD166 murine monoclonal antibodies J4-81 and 3A6 and therefore recognizes a different epitope. Engagement through I/F8 scFv, 3A6 monoclonal antibody or CD6/Fc ligand induced ALCAM/CD166 internalization, with a kinetics slower than that of transferrin in the same cells. Newly internalized I/F8-ALCAM complexes colocalized with clathrin but not with caveolin and we demonstrated, using surface biotinylation and recycling assays, that endocytosed ALCAM/CD166 recycles back to the cell surface. Such an endocytic pathway allows the efficient delivery of an I/F8 scFv-saporin immunotoxin into tumor cells, as the conjugates are able to selectively kill cell lines expressing ALCAM/CD166. Altogether these data provide evidence of the suitability of the I/F8 scFv for further functional analysis of ALCAM/CD166 and intracellular delivery of effector moieties.

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