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J Mol Biol. 2001 Jul 13;310(3):591-601.

Building novel binding ligands to B7.1 and B7.2 based on human antibody single variable light chain domains.

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Dyax B.V., Provisorium, Maastricht, 6202 AZ, The Netherlands.


Ligands specific for B7.1 (CD80) and B7.2 (CD86) have applications in disease indications that require inhibition of T-cell activity. As we observed significant sequence and structural similarity between the B7-binding ligand, cytotoxic T-lymphocyte associated protein-4 (CTLA-4), and antibody variable light chain domains (VLs), we have explored the possibilities of making novel B7 binding molecules based on single VL domains. We first describe the "rational" design and construction of a VL/CTLA-4 hybrid molecule in which we have grafted both the CDR1 and CDR3-like loops of CTLA-4 onto a single VL light chain, at sites determined by sequence and structure-based alignment. This molecule was secreted as a soluble product from Escherichia coli, but did not show any binding to B7.1 and B7.2. In a second approach we constructed a VL library in which human VL genes derived from B-cells were spiked with the CDR3-like loop of CTLA-4 and further diversified by DNA shuffling. This library was displayed on phage, and after selection gave B7.1 binding ligands which competed with CTLA-4. In order to evaluate the possible general utility of VL domains as binding ligands, we have constructed a non-biased VL library. From this DNA-shuffled human VL library we have selected single VL domains specific for B7.1, B7.2 or human IgG. Two B7.1-specific VL ligands and one B7.2-specific VL ligand showed competition with CTLA-4. One candidate VL domain-specific for B7.1 was affinity matured by simultaneous randomisation of all CDR loops using DNA shuffling with degenerate CDR-spiking oligonucleotides. From this library, a single VL domain with affinity of 191 nM for B7.1 was obtained, which also showed binding to B7.1 in situ. This VL had mutations in CDR1 and CDR3, indicating that antigen recognition for this single VL is most likely mediated by the same regions as in the VL domain of whole antibodies. The B7.1 and B7.2-specific VL domains described in this study may form the basis of a new family of immunomodulatory recombinant molecules. Furthermore, our studies suggest that it is feasible to create specific single VL domains to diverse targets as is the case for single VH domains.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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