Claudia Santini

The Rockefeller University, New York City, New York, United States

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Publications (9)43.22 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: The EphA2 receptor tyrosine kinase is overexpressed in a variety of human epithelial cancers and is a determinant of malignant cellular behavior in pancreatic adenocarcinoma cells. Moreover, it is expressed in tumor endothelium and its activation promotes angiogenesis. To better clarify the therapeutic potential of monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) directed to the EphA2 receptor, we generated a large number of mAbs by differential screening of phage-Ab libraries by oligonucleotide microarray technology and implemented a strategy for the rapid identification of antibodies with the desired properties. We selected two high-affinity and highly specific EphA2 monoclonal antibodies with different in vitro properties on the human pancreatic tumor cell line MiaPaCa2. One is a potent EphA2-agonistic antibody, IgG25, that promotes receptor endocytosis and subsequent degradation, and the second is a ligand antagonist, IgG28, that blocks the binding to ephrin A1 and is cross-reactive with the mouse EphA2 receptor. We measured the effect of antibody treatment on the growth of MiaPaCa2 cells orthotopically transplanted in nude mice. Both IgG25 and IgG28 had strong antitumor and antimetastatic efficacy. In vivo treatment with IgG25 determined the reduction of the EphA2 protein levels in the tumor and the phosphorylation of FAK on Tyr576 while administration of IgG28 caused a decrease in tumor vascularization as measured by immunohistochemical analysis of CD31 in tumor sections. These data show that in a pancreatic cancer model comparable therapeutic efficacy is obtained either by promoting receptor degradation or by blocking receptor activation.
    Journal of Oncology 01/2009; 2009:951917.
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    ABSTRACT: A novel and efficient tagArray technology was developed that allows rapid identification of antibodies which bind to receptors with a specific expression profile, in the absence of biological information. This method is based on the cloning of a specific, short nucleotide sequence (tag) in the phagemid coding for each phage-displayed antibody fragment (phage-Ab) present in a library. In order to set up and validate the method we identified about 10,000 different phage-Abs binding to receptors expressed in their native form on the cell surface (10 k Membranome collection) and tagged each individual phage-Ab. The frequency of each phage-Ab in a given population can at this point be inferred by measuring the frequency of its associated tag sequence through standard DNA hybridization methods. Using tiny amounts of biological samples we identified phage-Abs binding to receptors preferentially expressed on primary tumor cells rather than on cells obtained from matched normal tissues. These antibodies inhibited cell proliferation in vitro and tumor development in vivo, thus representing therapeutic lead candidates.
    PLoS ONE 02/2008; 3(1):e1508. · 3.73 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The human scavenger class B type 1 receptor (SR-B1/Cla1) was identified as a putative receptor for hepatitis C virus (HCV) because it binds to soluble recombinant HCV envelope glycoprotein E2 (sE2). High-density lipoprotein (HDL), a natural SR-B1 ligand, was shown to increase the in vitro infectivity of retroviral pseudoparticles bearing HCV envelope glycoproteins and of cell culture-derived HCV (HCVcc), suggesting that SR-B1 promotes viral entry in an HDL-dependent manner. To determine whether SR-B1 participates directly in HCV infection or facilitates HCV entry through lipoprotein uptake, we generated a panel of monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) against native human SR-B1. Two of them, 3D5 and C167, bound to conformation-dependent SR-B1 determinants and inhibited the interaction of sE2 with SR-B1. These antibodies efficiently blocked HCVcc infection of Huh-7.5 hepatoma cells in a dose-dependent manner. To examine the role of HDL in SR-B1-mediated HCVcc infection, we set up conditions for HCVcc production and infection in serum-free medium. HCVcc efficiently infected Huh-7.5 cells in the absence of serum lipoproteins, and addition of HDL led to a twofold increase in infectivity. However, the HDL-induced enhancement of infection had no impact on the neutralization potency of MAb C167, despite its ability to inhibit both HDL binding to cells and SR-B1-mediated lipid transfer. Of note, MAb C167 also potently blocked Huh-7.5 infection by an HCV strain recovered from HCVcc-infected chimpanzees. These results demonstrate that SR-B1 is essential for infection with HCV produced in vitro and in vivo and suggest the possible use of anti-SR-B1 antibodies as therapeutic agents.
    Journal of Virology 09/2007; 81(15):8063-71. · 5.08 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Induction of multispecific, functional CD4+ and CD8+ T cells is the immunological hallmark of acute self-limiting hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection in humans. In the present study, we showed that gene electrotransfer (GET) of a novel candidate DNA vaccine encoding an optimized version of the nonstructural region of HCV (from NS3 to NS5B) induced substantially more potent, broad, and long-lasting CD4+ and CD8+ cellular immunity than naked DNA injection in mice and in rhesus macaques as measured by a combination of assays, including IFN-gamma ELISPOT, intracellular cytokine staining, and cytotoxic T cell assays. A protocol based on three injections of DNA with GET induced a substantially higher CD4+ T cell response than an adenovirus 6-based viral vector encoding the same Ag. To better evaluate the immunological potency and probability of success of this vaccine, we have immunized two chimpanzees and have compared vaccine-induced cell-mediated immunity to that measured in acute self-limiting infection in humans. GET of the candidate HCV vaccine led to vigorous, multispecific IFN-gamma+CD8+ and CD4+ T lymphocyte responses in chimpanzees, which were comparable to those measured in five individuals that cleared spontaneously HCV infection. These data support the hypothesis that T cell responses elicited by the present strategy could be beneficial in prophylactic vaccine approaches against HCV.
    The Journal of Immunology 12/2006; 177(10):7462-71. · 5.52 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Success in resolving hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection has been correlated to vigorous, multispecific, and sustained CD8(+) T-cell response in humans and chimpanzees. The efficacy of inducing T-cell-mediated immunity by recombinant serotype 5 adenovirus vector has been proven in many animal models of infectious diseases, but its immunogenicity can be negatively influenced by preexisting immunity against the vector itself. To evaluate the less prevalent adenovirus serotype 6 (Ad6) as an alternative vector for and HCV vaccine development, we have generated serotype 5 and 6 adenoviral vectors directing expression of the nonstructural region of HCV (MRKAd5-NSmut and MRKAd6-NSmut). Immunogenicity studies in mice showed that the two vectors induced comparable T-cell responses but that only MRKAd6-NSmut was not suppressed in the presence of anti-Ad5 immunity. In contrast, preexisting anti-Ad5 immunity dramatically blunted the immunogenicity of the serotype 5-based HCV vector. Furthermore, MRKAd6-NSmut showed equivalent potency, breadth, and longevity of HCV-specific T-cell responses in rhesus macaques as the corresponding Ad5-based vector over a wide range of doses and was capable of boosting DNA-primed animals even if administered at low doses. These data support the use of the MRKAd6-NSmut for anti-HCV immunotherapy and, more generally, for the Ad6 serotype as a better genetic vaccine vehicle than Ad5.
    Journal of Virology 03/2006; 80(4):1688-99. · 5.08 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We describe the construction and characterization of a hepatitis C virus (HCV) cDNA expression library displayed as a fusion to the carboxy terminus of the capsid protein D of bacteriophage lambda. cDNA inserts were obtained by tagged random-priming of the HCV genome and cloned into a lambda vector from which chimeric phage bearing both wild-type D protein and D fusion products on the capsid surface were produced. The resulting library was affinity-selected with anti-HCV human monoclonal antibodies recognizing linear or conformational epitopes, and human sera from HCV-infected patients. Selection was monitored by immuno-screening experiments, ELISA, and sequence analysis of positive clones. The performance of this library was compared with two additional HCV cDNA display libraries generated as N-terminal fusions to the III and VIII capsid proteins of filamentous phage M13. The results obtained demonstrate the great potential of the lambda display system for constructing complex cDNA libraries for natural ligand discovery.
    Journal of Molecular Biology 10/1998; 282(1):125-35. · 3.91 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We used random peptide libraries displayed on phage to search for ligands to insulin dependent diabetes mellitus-related antibodies and were able to identify several candidate disease-related peptides. One of them, clone 92, showed a significant difference in the frequency of reactivity with the sera of patients and normal controls. Human immunoglobulins immunopurified on phage 92 specifically stained the islets on human pancreatic sections. When injected into rabbits, the selected peptide elicited antibodies that also stained human and rat pancreatic sections, with a pattern similar to that observed with immunoglobulins purified from the sera of patients. No reactivity was observed in other tissues. Our results indicate that the peptide identified in this work mimics a novel, diabetes-related self-antigen.
    Journal of Molecular Biology 06/1997; 268(3):599-606. · 3.91 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Random peptide libraries displayed on phage are used as a source of peptides for epitope mapping, for the identification of critical amino acids responsible for protein-protein interactions and as leads for the discovery of new therapeutics. Efficient and simple procedures have been devised to select peptides binding to purified proteins, to monoclonal and polyclonal antibodies and to cell surfaces in vivo and in vitro.
    Current Opinion in Biotechnology 01/1997; 7(6):616-21. · 7.86 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Phage display technology represents a powerful tool for the identification of peptides reacting with disease-related antibodies present in human sera. The application of this technology to type 1 diabetes could provide a set of novel reagents for diabetes prediction and could also lead to the identification of novel autoantigens or even of environmental factors possibly causing the disease. In the present study, sera of prediabetic and high risk individuals were used to select candidate peptides from phage-displayed random peptide libraries. Diabetes specific phage clones were then identified from these through screening and counter screening, using sera from diabetic and non-diabetic individuals. The results presented in this paper demonstrate the feasibility of this methodology to identify peptides reacting preferentially with antibodies present in the serum of diabetic patients.
    Journal of Autoimmunity 07/1996; 9(3):431-6. · 8.15 Impact Factor