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Sci Rep. 2018 Apr 3;8(1):5466. doi: 10.1038/s41598-018-23889-z.

Structure-function analysis and therapeutic efficacy of antibodies to fungal melanin for melanoma radioimmunotherapy.

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Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, New York, USA.
University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, SK, Canada.
School of Medicine and Health Sciences, Universidad Rosario, Bogota, Colombia.
European Commission, Joint Research Centre, Directorate for Nuclear Safety and Security, Karlsruhe, Germany.
RadImmune Therapeutics, Tarrytown, NY, USA.
Pain Therapeutics, Inc, Austin, TX, USA.
Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, MD, USA.
University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, SK, Canada.


Metastatic melanoma remains difficult to treat despite recent approvals of several new drugs. Recently we reported encouraging results of Phase I clinical trial of radiolabeled with 188Re murine monoclonal IgM 6D2 to melanin in patients with Stage III/IV melanoma. Subsequently we generated a novel murine IgG 8C3 to melanin. IgGs are more amenable to humanization and cGMP (current Good Manufacturing Practice) manufacturing than IgMs. We performed comparative structural analysis of melanin-binding IgM 6D2 and IgG 8C3. The therapeutic efficacy of 213Bi- and 188Re-labeled 8C3 and its comparison with anti-CTLA4 immunotherapy was performed in B16-F10 murine melanoma model. The primary structures of these antibodies revealed significant homology, with the CDRs containing a high percentage of positively charged amino acids. The 8C3 model has a negatively charged binding surface and significant number of aromatic residues in its H3 domain, suggesting that hydrophobic interactions contribute to the antibody-melanin interaction. Radiolabeled IgG 8C3 showed significant therapeutic efficacy in murine melanoma, safety towards healthy melanin-containing tissues and favorable comparison with the anti-CTLA4 antibody. We have demonstrated that antibody binding to melanin relies on both charge and hydrophobic interactions while the in vivo data supports further development of 8C3 IgG as radioimmunotherapy reagent for metastatic melanoma.

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