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Int J Immunopathol Pharmacol. 2009 Jan-Mar;22(1):73-83.

Selection and characterization of a novel agonistic human recombinant anti-TRAIL-R2 minibody with anti-leukemic activity.

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Department of Morphology and Embryology, University of Ferrara, Italy.


Tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL) is a promising natural anticancer therapeutic agent because through its death receptors, TRAIL-R1 and TRAIL-R2, it induces apoptosis in many transformed tumor cells, but not in the majority of normal cells. Hence, agonistic compounds directed against TRAIL death receptors have the potential of being excellent cancer therapeutic agents, with minimal cytotoxicity in normal tissues. Here, we report the selection and characterization of a new single-chain fragment variable (scFv) to TRAIL-R2 receptor isolated from a human phage-display library, produced as minibody (MB), and characterized for the in vitro anti-leukemic tumoricidal activity. The anti-TRAIL-R2 MB2.23 efficiently and specifically bound to membrane-associated TRAIL-R2 on different leukemic cell lines and could act as a direct agonist in vitro, initiating apoptotic signaling as well as complement-dependent cytotoxicity and antibody-dependent cell cytotoxicity, providing a rationale for further investigations of MB2.23 in anticancer therapy.

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