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Clin Cancer Res. 2000 Nov;6(11):4314-22.

Construction and characterization of bispecific costimulatory molecules containing a minimized CD86 (B7-2) domain and single-chain antibody fragments for tumor targeting.

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Chemotherapeutisches Forschungsinstitut Georg-Speyer-Haus, Frankfurt am Main, Germany.


Efficient T-cell activation requires two signals. The first signal, which confers specificity, is provided by interaction of the T-cell receptor with peptides presented by MHC molecules. One of the second costimulatory signals is induced by binding of B7 proteins on the surface of antigen-presenting cells to CD28 on the T-cell surface. Expression of B7 molecules on tumor cells can result in the activation of tumor specific T lymphocytes and induce protective antitumor immunity. However, at present such gene-therapeutic approaches are limited by the inability to selectively target B7 gene expression to cancer cells. As an alternative approach we exploited recombinant antibody fragments to localize a costimulatory B7 molecule to the surface of tumor cells. We constructed chimeric proteins that contain in a single polypeptide chain a portion of human B7-2 (CD86) genetically fused to single-chain (sc) Fv antibody domains specific for the tumor-associated antigens epidermal growth factor receptor and the closely related ErbB2 receptor tyrosine kinase. A small recombinant fragment of human CD86 was characterized that corresponds to amino acid residues 1-111 (CD86(111)) of the mature protein. CD86(111) produced in the yeast Pichia pastoris and CD86(111) expressed in bacteria was functionally active and displayed specific binding to B7 counter receptors. Bacterially expressed CD86(111)-scFv fusion proteins specifically localized to the respective target antigens on the surface of tumor cells and markedly enhanced the proliferation of primary T cells when bound to immobilized tumor antigen.

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