Relationship between potential aggregation-prone regions and HLA-DR-binding T-cell immune epitopes: Implications for rational design of novel and follow-on therapeutic antibodies

Biotherapeutics Pharmaceutical Sciences Research and Development, Pfizer Inc., Chesterfield, Missouri 63017, USA.
Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences (Impact Factor: 3.01). 08/2012; 101(8):2686-701. DOI: 10.1002/jps.23169
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Aggregation and unwanted immunogenicity are hurdles to avoid in successful commercial development of antibody-based therapeutics. In this article, the relationship between aggregation-prone regions (APRs), capable of forming cross-β motifs/amyloid fibrils, and major histocompatibility complex class II-restricted human leukocyte antigen (HLA)-DR-binding T-cell immune epitopes (TcIEs) is analyzed using amino acid sequences of 25 therapeutic antibodies, 55 TcIEs recognized by T-regulatory cells (tregitopes), 1000 randomly generated 15-residue-long peptides, 2257 human self-TcIEs (autoantigens), and 11 peptides in HLA-peptide cocrystal structures. Sequence analyses from these diverse sources consistently show a high level of correlation between APRs and TcIEs: approximately one-third of TcIEs contain APRs, but the majority of APRs occur within TcIE regions (TcIERs). Tregitopes also contain APRs. Most APR-containing TcIERs can bind multiple HLA-DR alleles, suggesting that aggregation-driven adverse immune responses could impact a broad segment of patient population. This article has identified common molecular sequence-structure loci that potentially contribute toward both manufacturability and safety profiles of the therapeutic antibodies, thereby laying a foundation for simultaneous optimization of these attributes in novel and follow-on candidates. Incidence of APRs within TcIERs is not special to biotherapeutics, self-TcIEs from human proteins, involved in various diseases, also contain predicted APRs and experimentally proven amyloid-fibril-forming peptide sequence portions.

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May 29, 2014