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Eur J Immunol. 2005 Jul;35(7):2175-83.

Controlling complement resistance in cancer by using human monoclonal antibodies that neutralize complement-regulatory proteins CD55 and CD59.

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  • 1Department of Biology, University of Trieste, Trieste, Italy.


Expression of the complement-regulatory proteins (CRP) CD46, CD55 and CD59 represents a strategy used by tumor cells to evade complement-dependent cell cytoxicity stimulated by monoclonal antibodies. We have isolated two single-chain variable fragments (scFv) to CD55 and CD59 from a human phage-display library and from these scFv we have produced two miniantibodies (MB), MB-55 (against CD55) and MB-59 (against CD59), containing the human hinge-CH2-CH3 domains of IgG1. The specificity of the two MB for the corresponding CRP was assessed by ELISA using purified CD46, CD55 and CD59. MB-55 and MB-59 neutralized the inhibitory activity of CD55 and CD59, respectively, restoring the complement-mediated lysis of sheep and guinea pig erythrocytes that was otherwise inhibited by the two CRP. FACS analysis revealed binding of MB-55 and MB-59 to the lymphoma cell line Karpas 422. The two MB induced a two-fold increase in the complement-dependent killing of these cells stimulated by Rituximab, a chimeric anti-CD20 monoclonal antibody. Transfection of HEK293T cells with vectors encoding MB-55 or MB-59 markedly reduced the expression of CD55 and CD59. We conclude that the human antibodies MB-55 and MB-59 may represent a therapeutic tool to increase the complement-dependent killing activity of Rituximab in the treatment of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.

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