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Cancer Res. 2004 Jul 15;64(14):4870-4.

A fully human antitumor immunoRNase selective for ErbB-2-positive carcinomas.

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Department of Biological Chemistry, University of Naples Federico II, via Mezzocannone 16, 80134 Naples, Italy.


We report the preparation and characterization of a novel, fully human antitumor immunoRNase (IR). The IR, a human RNase and fusion protein made up of a human single chain variable fragment (scFv), is directed to the ErbB-2 receptor and overexpressed in many carcinomas. The anti-ErbB-2 IR, named hERB-hRNase, retains the enzymatic activity of the wild-type enzyme (human pancreatic RNase) and specifically binds to ErbB-2-positive cells with the high affinity (K(d) = 4.5 nm) of the parental scFv. hERB-hRNase behaves as an immunoprotoxin and on internalization by target cells becomes selectively cytotoxic in a dose-dependent manner at nanomolar concentrations. Administered in five doses of 1.5 mg/kg to mice bearing an ErbB-2-positive tumor, hERB-hRNase induced a dramatic reduction in tumor volume. hERB-hRNase is the first fully human antitumor IR produced thus far, with a high potential as a poorly immunogenic human drug devoid of nonspecific toxicity, directed against ErbB-2-positive malignancies.

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