Structural Basis for the Blockage of IL-2 Signaling by Therapeutic Antibody Basiliximab

State Key Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Research Center for Structural Biology, Institute of Biochemistry and Cell Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shanghai, China.
The Journal of Immunology (Impact Factor: 4.92). 02/2010; 184(3):1361-8. DOI: 10.4049/jimmunol.0903178
Source: PubMed


IL-2 signaling plays a central role in the initiation and activation of immune responses. Correspondingly, blockage of this pathway leads to inhibition of the immune system and would provide some therapeutic benefits. Basiliximab (Simulect), a therapeutic mAb drug with specificity against IL-2R alpha of T cells, was approved by U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 1998. It has been proven to be effective in the suppression of the IL-2 pathway and hence has been widely used to prevent allograft rejection in organ transplantation, especially in kidney transplants. In this study, we report the crystal structure of the basiliximab Fab in complex with the ectodomain of IL-2R alpha at 2.9 A resolution. In the complex structure, the Fab interacts with IL-2R alpha with extensive hydrophobic and hydrophilic interactions, accounting for a high binding affinity of 0.14 nM. The Ag binding site of basiliximab consists of all six CDR loops that form a large binding interface with a central shallow hydrophobic groove surrounded by four hydrophilic patches. The discontinuous epitope is composed of several segments from the D1 domain and a minor segment from the D2 domain that overlap with most of the regions responsible for the interactions with IL-2. Thus, basiliximab binding can completely block the interactions of IL-2 with IL-2R alpha and hence inhibit the activation of the IL-2 signal pathway. The structural results also provide important implications for the development of improved and new IL-2R alpha-targeted mAb drugs.

Download full-text


Available from: Jianchuan Wang, Feb 28, 2014
  • Source
    • "Basiliximab binding can completely block the interactions of IL-2 with IL-2Rα [2]. The IL-2Rα amino acids responsible for IL-2 interaction overlap largely with the basiliximab epitope [2], [3].The binding affinity of basiliximab to IL-2Rα (0.14 nM) appears much higher than that of IL-2 to IL-2Rα (10 nM) [2], [3]. This therapeutic antibody targets activated CD4 T cells that transiently express CD25, thereby preventing IL-2-mediated T cell proliferation. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: IL-2 has been reported to be critical for peripheral T(reg) survival in mouse models. Here, we examined T(reg) maintenance in a series of paediatric liver transplant recipients who received basiliximab, a therapeutic anti-CD25 monoclonal antibody. FoxP3+ CD4 T cells were analyzed by flow cytometry before liver grafting and more than 9 months later. We found that in vivo CD25 blockade did not lead to T(reg) depletion: the proportion of FoxP3+ cells among CD4 T cells and the level of FoxP3 expression were both unchanged. IL-2Rbeta expression was enhanced in FoxP3+ cells both before and after basiliximab treatment, while the level of IL-2Rgamma expression was similar in T(regs) and non-T(regs). No significant change in the weak or absent expression of IL-7Ralpha and IL-15Ralpha expression on FoxP3+ cells was observed. Although the proportion of FoxP3+ cells among CD4 T cells did not vary, food allergies occurred more rapidly after liver grafting in patients who received basiliximab, raising questions as to T(reg) functionality in vivo in the absence of functional CD25. CD25 appears non essential for human T(reg) peripheral maintenance in vivo. However, our results raise questions as to T(reg) functionality after therapeutic CD25 targeting.
    Full-text · Article · Jul 2010 · PLoS ONE
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Interleukin-2 (IL)-2 signaling plays a pivotal role in the activation of immune responses, and drugs that block this pathway have been shown to be effective for the immunosuppression in patients with organ transplantation to alleviate/eliminate allograft rejection. The first humanized monoclonal antibody (mAb) daclizumab falls into this category and shows high specificity and affinity against a key component of the IL-2 receptor complex, namely IL-2Rα. To reveal the molecular mechanism of the inhibition of the IL-2 signaling pathway by daclizumab, we determined the crystal structures of the daclizumab Fab in free form and in complex with the IL-2Rα ectodomain at 2.6 and 2.8 Å resolution, respectively. The daclizumab Fab adopts a similar conformation in the presence or absence of the IL-2Rα ectodomain. The antigen-binding site of daclizumab is mainly composed of five complementarity determining regions (CDRs) that form a large positively charged surface depression and two flanking patches that are generally hydrophobic. The conformational epitope consists of several discontinuous segments of the IL-2Rα ectodomain, a large portion of which overlaps with the regions that interact with IL-2, suggesting that the binding of daclizumab to IL-2Rα would prevent the IL-2 binding to IL-2Rα and the subsequent formation of the IL-2/IL-2Rαβγ(c) complex, and therefore block the IL-2 signaling pathway. These results also have implications for the design and development of improved mAb drugs targeting IL-2Rα.
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2010 · Cell Research
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The IL-2:IL-2R protein-protein interaction is of central importance to both healthy and diseased immune responses, and is one of the earliest examples of successful small-molecule inhibitor discovery against this target class. Drug-like inhibitors of IL-2 have been identified through a combination of fragment discovery, structure-based design, and medicinal chemistry; this discovery approach illustrates the importance of using a diverse range of complementary screening methods and analytical tools to achieve a comprehensive understanding of molecular recognition. The IL-2 story also provides insight into the dynamic nature of protein-protein interaction surfaces, their potential druggability, and the physical and chemical properties of effective small-molecule ligands. These lessons, from IL-2 and similar discovery programs, underscore an increasing awareness of the principles governing the development of drugs for protein-protein interactions.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2011 · Current topics in microbiology and immunology
Show more