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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1993 Jan 15;90(2):720-4.

Specific activation and targeting of cytotoxic lymphocytes through chimeric single chains consisting of antibody-binding domains and the gamma or zeta subunits of the immunoglobulin and T-cell receptors.

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Department of Chemical Immunology, Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, Israel.


The generation of tumor-specific lymphocytes and their use in adoptive immunotherapy is limited to a few malignancies because most spontaneous tumors are very weak or not at all immunogenic. On the other hand, many anti-tumor antibodies have been described which bind tumor-associated antigens shared among tumors of the same histology. Combining the variable regions (Fv) of an antibody with the constant regions of the T-cell receptor (TCR) chains results in chimeric genes endowing T lymphocytes with antibody-type specificity, potentially allowing cellular adoptive immunotherapy against types of tumors not previously possible. To generalize and extend this approach to additional lymphocyte-activating molecules, we designed and constructed chimeric genes composed of a single-chain Fv domain (scFv) of an antibody linked with gamma or zeta chains, the common signal-transducing subunits of the immunoglobulin receptor and the TCR. Such chimeric genes containing the Fv region of an anti-trinitophenyl antibody could be expressed as functional surface receptors in a cytolytic T-cell hybridoma. They triggered interleukin 2 secretion upon encountering antigen and mediated non-major-histocompatibility-complex-restricted hapten-specific target cell lysis. Such chimeric receptors can be exploited to provide T cells and other effector lymphocytes, such as natural killer cells, with antibody-type recognition directly coupled to cellular activation.

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