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Cell Biophys. 1993 Jan-Jun;22(1-3):111-27.

Rat MAbs to the product of the c-erbB-2 proto-oncogene for diagnosis and therapy in breast cancer.

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Institute of Cancer Research, Sutton, Surrey, UK.


The product of the c-erbB-2 protooncogene (p185) is a member of the EGF receptor family of transmembrane tyrosine kinases. Amplification of this gene and overexpression of the product has been observed in adenocarcinomas and has been correlated with poor prognosis in patients with breast and ovarian cancer. The very low levels of expression of p185 by normal adult tissues makes the receptor an almost tumor-specific target. We have prepared rat monoclonal antibodies against five distinct epitopes on the external domain of the c-erbB-2 product overexpressed by the breast cancer line BT474. The antibodies bind to the protein core of p185 and stain specifically the membranes in frozen sections of tumors overexpressing the c-erbB-2 product. Three of the antibodies, ICR12 (epitope A), ICR54, and ICR55 (epitope E), also stain the cell membrane in formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded sections and bind to p185 in Western blots. An investigation of the stability of the antigen-antibody complexes indicates that the majority are not readily internalized by SKOV3 cells growing in vitro. Antibodies ICR12 (IgG2a) and ICR55 (IgG2a), which are directed against separate epitopes on the c-erbB-2 p185, are both of high affinity and immunoreactivity (> 75%) and localize specifically and stably to xenografted breast and ovarian carcinomas growing in athymic mice when labeled with 125I (up to 13% injected dose/g, ICR12 and ICR55) or a range of other radionuclides (up to 20% id/g, ICR12). We conclude that these antibodies may be useful as therapeutic vehicles for targeting radionuclides (imaging and therapy) or enzymes for activating prodrugs (ADEPT).

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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