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Methods. 2005 May;36(1):25-34.

SDR grafting--a new approach to antibody humanization.

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  • 1Laboratory of Tumor Immunology and Biology, Center for Cancer Research, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA.


A major impediment to the clinical utility of the murine monoclonal antibodies is their potential to elicit human anti-murine antibody (HAMA) response in patients. To circumvent this problem, murine antibodies have been genetically manipulated to progressively replace their murine content with the amino acid residues present in their human counterparts. To that end, murine antibodies have been humanized by grafting their complementarity determining regions (CDRs) onto the variable light (V(L)) and variable heavy (V(H)) frameworks of human immunoglobulin molecules, while retaining those murine framework residues deemed essential for the integrity of the antigen-combining site. However, the xenogeneic CDRs of the humanized antibodies may evoke anti-idiotypic (anti-Id) response in patients. To minimize the anti-Id response, a procedure to humanize xenogeneic antibodies has been described that is based on grafting, onto the human frameworks, only the specificity determining residues (SDRs), the CDR residues that are most crucial in the antibody-ligand interaction. The SDRs are identified through the help of the database of the three-dimensional structures of the antigen-antibody complexes of known structures or by mutational analysis of the antibody-combining site. An alternative approach to humanization, which involves retention of more CDR residues, is based on grafting of the 'abbreviated' CDRs, the stretches of CDR residues that include all the SDRs. A procedure to assess the reactivity of the humanized antibody to sera from patients who had been administered the murine antibody has also been described.

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