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Blood. 2003 Mar 15;101(6):2300-6. Epub 2002 Oct 31.

T-cell activation and cytokine production via a bispecific single-chain antibody fragment targeted to blood-stage malaria parasites.

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Department of Medical Zoology, Jichi Medical School, Tochigi, Japan.


A novel bispecific single-chain antibody fragment (biscFv) has been constructed to address the possibility of a new approach to malaria therapeutic drug development. The biscFv consists of 2 different single-chain antibody fragments linked by a flexible peptide linker (Gly(4)-Ser)(3). Of the 2 scFv fragments, one is directed against a conserved epitope of the 19-kDa C-terminal fragment of the major surface protein of human malignant malaria parasite, Plasmodium falciparum, and the other is directed against the CD3 antigen of human T cells. The biscFv expressed by a recombinant baculovirus retained the antigen-binding properties of the corresponding univalent single-chain antibody fragments and formed a bridge between P falciparum and T cells. In cooperation with T cells, the biscFv specifically induced not only interferon gamma and tumor necrosis factor alpha, but also a significant increase of merozoite phagocytosis and growth inhibition of P falciparum in vitro. Thus, the biscFv possesses highly selective malaria-targeting properties and stimulates T cells to induce cytokines, presumably resulting in activation of macrophages, neutrophils, and natural killer cells, and parasite killing in vivo.

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