John Leung

KaloBios Pharmaceuticals, Inc, San Francisco, California, United States

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Publications (4)30.92 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: EphA3is expressed in solid tumors and leukemias and is an attractive target for the therapy. We have generated a panel of Humaneered® antibodies to the ligand-binding domain using a Fab epitope-focused library that has the same specificity as monoclonal antibody mIIIA4. A high-affinity antibody was selected that competes with the mIIIA4 antibody for binding to EphA3 and has an improved affinity of ∼1 nM. In order to generate an antibody with potent cell-killing activity the variable regions were assembled with human IgG1k constant regions and expressed in a Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cell line deficient in fucosyl transferase. Non-fucosylated antibodies have been reported to have enhanced binding affinity for the IgG receptor CD16a (FcγRIIIa). The affinity of the antibody for recombinant CD16a was enhanced approximately 10-fold. This resulted in enhanced antibody-dependent cell-mediated cytotoxicity (ADCC) activity against EphA3-expressing leukemic cells, providing a potent antibody for the evaluation as a therapeutic agent.
    Growth Factors 11/2014; DOI:10.3109/08977194.2014.984808 · 3.09 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Background Although several novel agents are currently in clinical trials for eosinophilic disorders, none has demonstrated efficacy in reducing blood and tissue eosinophilia in all subjects. Additional approaches are clearly needed. Objective We sought to explore the potential of the human eosinophil surface receptor epidermal growth factor–like module containing mucin-like hormone receptor 1 (EMR1) as a therapeutic target for eosinophilic disorders. Methods EMR1 expression was assessed in blood and bone marrow specimens from eosinophilic and healthy subjects, cell lines, CD34+ cells differentiated in vitro, and tissue biopsy specimens by using flow cytometry, quantitative PCR, and immunostaining. Eosinophil targeting by a novel, humanized, afucosylated anti-EMR1 IgG1 was evaluated in vitro by using a natural killer cell–mediated killing assay and in vivo in cynomolgus monkeys. Results Analysis of blood and bone marrow cells from healthy and eosinophilic donors and in vitro–differentiated CD34+ cells confirmed restriction of human EMR1 surface and mRNA expression to mature eosinophils. Tissue eosinophils also expressed EMR1. Although EMR1 was highly expressed on eosinophils from all subjects, surface expression was negatively correlated with absolute eosinophil counts (r = −0.46, P < .001), and soluble plasma levels correlated positively with absolute eosinophil counts (r = 0.69, P < .001), suggesting modulation of EMR1 in vivo. Nevertheless, afucosylated anti-EMR1 mAb dramatically enhanced natural killer cell–mediated killing of eosinophils from healthy and eosinophilic donors and induced a rapid and sustained depletion of eosinophils in monkeys. Conclusion EMR1 expression is restricted to mature blood and tissue eosinophils. Targeting of eosinophils with afucosylated anti-EMR1 antibody shows promise as a treatment for eosinophilic disorders.
    The Journal of allergy and clinical immunology 05/2014; DOI:10.1016/j.jaci.2013.11.041 · 12.05 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The Wnt coreceptor LRP6 is required for canonical Wnt signaling. To understand the molecular regulation of LRP6 function, we generated a series of monoclonal antibodies against the extra cellular domain (ECD) of LRP6 and selected a high-affinity mAb (mAb135) that recognizes cell surface expression of endogenous LRP6. mAb135 enhanced Wnt dependent TCF reporter activation and antagonized DKK1 dependent inhibition of Wnt3A signaling, suggesting a role in modulation of LRP6 function. Detailed analysis of LRP6 domain mutants identified Ser 243 in the first propeller domain of LRP6 as a critical residue for mAb135 binding, implicating this domain in regulating the sensitivity of LRP6 to DKK1. In agreement with this notion, mAb135 directly disrupted the interaction of DKK1 with recombinant ECD LRP6 and a truncated form of the LRP6 ECD containing only repeats 1 and 2. Finally, we found that mAb135 completely protected LRP6 from DKK1 dependent internalization. Together, these results identify the first propeller domain as a novel regulatory domain for DKK1 binding to LRP6 and show that mAb against the first propeller domain of LRP6 can be used to modulate this interaction.
    Molecular biology of the cell 06/2009; 20(15):3552-60. DOI:10.1091/mbc.E08-12-1252 · 5.98 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The R-Spondin (RSpo) family of secreted proteins act as potent activators of the Wnt/beta-catenin signaling pathway. We have previously shown that RSpo proteins can induce proliferative effects on the gastrointestinal epithelium in mice. Here we provide a mechanism whereby RSpo1 regulates cellular responsiveness to Wnt ligands by modulating the cell-surface levels of the coreceptor LRP6. We show that RSpo1 activity critically depends on the presence of canonical Wnt ligands and LRP6. Although RSpo1 does not directly activate LRP6, it interferes with DKK1/Kremen-mediated internalization of LRP6 through an interaction with Kremen, resulting in increased LRP6 levels on the cell surface. Our results support a model in which RSpo1 relieves the inhibition DKK1 imposes on the Wnt pathway.
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 10/2007; 104(37):14700-5. DOI:10.1073/pnas.0702305104 · 9.81 Impact Factor