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Hum Antibodies. 2011;20(3-4):83-94. doi: 10.3233/HAB-2011-0243.

Fully human antibodies against the Protease-Activated Receptor-2 (PAR-2) with anti-inflammatory activity.

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Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Ridgefield, CT, USA.


PAR-2 belongs to a family of G-protein coupled Protease-Activated Receptors (PAR) which are activated by specific proteolytic cleavage in the extracellular N-terminal region. PAR-2 is activated by proteases such as trypsin, tryptase, proteinase 3, factor VIIa, factor Xa and is thought to be a mediator of inflammation and tissue injury, where elevated levels of proteases are found. Utilizing the HuCAL GOLDĀ® phage display library we generated fully human antibodies specifically blocking the protease cleavage site in the N-terminal domain. In vitro affinity optimization resulted in antibodies with up to 1000-fold improved affinities relative to the original parental antibodies with dissociation constants as low as 100 pM. Corresponding increases in potency were observed in a mechanistic protease cleavage assay. The antibodies effectively inhibited PAR-2 mediated intracellular calcium release and cytokine secretion in various cell types stimulated with trypsin. In addition, the antibodies demonstrated potent inhibition of trypsin induced relaxation of isolated rat aortic rings ex vivo. In a short term mouse model of inflammation, the trans vivo DTH model, anti-PAR-2 antibodies showed inhibition of the inflammatory swelling response. In summary, potent inhibitors of PAR-2 were generated which allow further assessment of the role of this receptor in inflammation and evaluation of their potential as therapeutic agents.

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