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Biophys J. 2014 Nov 18;107(10):2456-66. doi: 10.1016/j.bpj.2014.10.007.

Designing cell-targeted therapeutic proteins reveals the interplay between domain connectivity and cell binding.

Author information

  • 1Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering, Harvard University, Boston, Massachusetts. Electronic address: avi.mosher@wyss.harvard.edu.
  • 2Department of Systems Biology, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts.
  • 3Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering, Harvard University, Boston, Massachusetts.
  • 4Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering, Harvard University, Boston, Massachusetts; Department of Systems Biology, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts.

Abstract

The therapeutic efficacy of cytokines is often hampered by severe side effects due to their undesired binding to healthy cells. One strategy for overcoming this obstacle is to tether cytokines to antibodies or antibody fragments for targeted cell delivery. However, how to modulate the geometric configuration and relative binding affinity of the two domains for optimal activity remains an outstanding question. As a result, many antibody-cytokine complexes do not achieve the desired level of cell-targeted binding and activity. Here, we address these design issues by developing a computational model to simulate the dynamics and binding kinetics of natural and engineered fusion proteins such as antibody-cytokine complexes. To verify the model, we developed a modular system in which an antibody fragment and a cytokine are conjugated via a DNA linker that allows for programmable linker geometry and protein spatial configuration. By assembling and testing several anti-CD20 antibody fragment-interferon ? complexes, we showed that varying the linker length and cytokine binding affinity controlled the magnitude of cell-targeted signaling activation in a manner that agreed with the model predictions, which were expressed as dose-signaling response curves. The simulation results also revealed that there is a range of cytokine binding affinities that would achieve optimal therapeutic efficacy. This rapid prototyping platform will facilitate the rational design of antibody-cytokine complexes for improved therapeutic outcomes.

PMID:
25418314
PMCID:
PMC4241446
DOI:
10.1016/j.bpj.2014.10.007
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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