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J Am Chem Soc. 2012 Jul 25;134(29):12308-18. doi: 10.1021/ja3051266. Epub 2012 Jul 16.

Chemoenzymatic glycoengineering of intact IgG antibodies for gain of functions.

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Institute of Human Virology and Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland 21201, USA.


The fine structures of Fc N-glycans can modulate the effector functions of IgG antibodies. It has been demonstrated that lack of the core fucose on the Fc N-glycans leads to drastic enhancement of antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity (ADCC), while terminal α2,6-sialylation of Fc glycan plays a critical role for the anti-inflammatory activity of human intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG). We describe in this paper a highly efficient chemoenzymatic method for site-selective Fc glycoengineering of intact monoclonal antibody and IVIG. Two new glycosynthase mutants (EndoS-D233A and D233Q) were generated by site-directed mutagenesis of EndoS (an endoglycosidase from Streptococcus pyogenes ) and were found to be capable of efficiently transferring predefined N-glycans from corresponding glycan oxazolines to the Fc-deglycosylated intact IgGs without product hydrolysis. As a model study, rituximab (a therapeutic monoclonal antibody) was successfully transformed from mixtures of G0F, G1F, and G2F glycoforms to well-defined homogeneous glycoforms, including a fully sialylated (S2G2F) glycoform that may gain anti-inflammatory activity, a nonfucosylated G2 glycoform that showed significantly enhanced FcγIIIa receptor-binding activity, and an azido-tagged glycoform that can be further transformed into other glycoforms. We also found that EndoS could selectively remove the Fc N-glycans in the presence of FAB glycosylation. This finding, coupled with the remarkable transglycosylation activity of the EndoS glycosynthase mutants, permitted a highly selective glycoengineering of the IVIG's Fc glycans into a fully sialylated Fc glycoform, which may possess significantly enhanced anti-inflammatory activity. The glycoengineering approach described here provides a general platform to modulate the effector functions of IgG antibodies, enabling the optimization of therapeutic efficacy and gain of new functions of monoclonal antibodies and IVIG.

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