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Hum Antibodies. 2007;16(3-4):163-76.

Isolation and characterization of human antibodies targeting human aspartyl (asparaginyl) beta-hydroxylase.

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  • 1Department of Chemical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA.


Over-expression of the enzyme human aspartyl (asparaginyl) beta-hydroxylase (HAAH) has been detected in a variety of cancers. It is proposed that upon cellular transformation, HAAH is overexpressed and translocated to the tumor cell surface, rendering it a specific surface antigen for tumor cells. In this work, twelve human single-chain Fv fragments (scFv) against HAAH were isolated from a human non-immune scFv library displayed on the surface of yeast. Five of the twelve were reformatted as human IgG1. Two of the five IgGs, 6-22 and 6-23, showed significant binding to recombinant HAAH in ELISA, tumor cell lines, and tumor tissues. The apparent dissociation constants of 6-22 and 6-23 IgG were 1.0 +/- 0.2 nM and 20 +/- 10 nM respectively. These two antibodies were shown to target different domains of HAAH, with 6-22 targeting the catalytic domain of HAAH and 6-23 targeting the N-terminal non-catalytic domain of HAAH. 6-22 IgG was further characterized, as it had high affinity and targeted the catalytic domain. 6-22 IgG alone does not exhibit significant cytotoxicity toward the tumor cells. However, 6-22 internalizes into tumor cells and can therefore be employed to deliver cytotoxic moieties. A goat anti-human IgG-saporin conjugate was delivered into tumor cells by 6-22 IgG and hence elicited cytotoxicity toward the tumor cells in vitro. These tumor-binding human antibodies can potentially be used in both diagnosis and immunotherapy targeting HAAH-expressing tumor cells.

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