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Rosskopf, Sophia; Eichholz, Klara Marie; Winterberg, Dorothee; Diemer, Katarina Julia; Lutz, Sebastian; Muennich, Ira Alexandra; Klausz, Katja; Roesner, Thies; Valerius, Thomas; Schewe, Denis Martin; Humpe, Andreas; Gramatzki, Martin; Peipp, Matthias and Kellner, Christian (2020): Enhancing CDC and ADCC of CD19 Antibodies by Combining Fc Protein-Engineering with Fc Glyco-Engineering. In: Antibodies, Vol. 9, No. 4, 63

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Background: Native cluster of differentiation (CD) 19 targeting antibodies are poorly effective in triggering antibody-dependent cell-mediated cytotoxicity (ADCC) and complement-dependent cytotoxicity (CDC), which are crucial effector functions of therapeutic antibodies in cancer immunotherapy. Both functions can be enhanced by engineering the antibody's Fc region by altering the amino acid sequence (Fc protein-engineering) or the Fc-linked glycan (Fc glyco-engineering). We hypothesized that combining Fc glyco-engineering with Fc protein-engineering will rescue ADCC and CDC in CD19 antibodies. Results: Four versions of a CD19 antibody based on tafasitamab's V-regions were generated: a native IgG1, an Fc protein-engineered version with amino acid exchanges S267E/H268F/S324T/G236A/I332E (EFTAE modification) to enhance CDC, and afucosylated, Fc glyco-engineered versions of both to promote ADCC. Irrespective of fucosylation, antibodies carrying the EFTAE modification had enhanced C1q binding and were superior in inducing CDC. In contrast, afucosylated versions exerted an enhanced affinity to Fc gamma receptor IIIA and had increased ADCC activity. Of note, the double-engineered antibody harboring the EFTAE modification and lacking fucose triggered both CDC and ADCC more efficiently. Conclusions: Fc glyco-engineering and protein-engineering could be combined to enhance ADCC and CDC in CD19 antibodies and may allow the generation of antibodies with higher therapeutic efficacy by promoting two key functions simultaneously.

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