[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: HER2 is a validated target in breast cancer therapy. Two drugs are currently approved for HER2-positive breast cancer: trastuzumab (Herceptin), introduced in 1998, and lapatinib (Tykerb), in 2007. Despite these advances, some patients progress through therapy and succumb to their disease. A variation on antibody-targeted therapy is utilization of antibodies to deliver cytotoxic agents specifically to antigen-expressing tumors. We determined in vitro and in vivo efficacy, pharmacokinetics, and toxicity of trastuzumab-maytansinoid (microtubule-depolymerizing agents) conjugates using disulfide and thioether linkers. Antiproliferative effects of trastuzumab-maytansinoid conjugates were evaluated on cultured normal and tumor cells. In vivo activity was determined in mouse breast cancer models, and toxicity was assessed in rats as measured by body weight loss. Surprisingly, trastuzumab linked to DM1 through a nonreducible thioether linkage (SMCC), displayed superior activity compared with unconjugated trastuzumab or trastuzumab linked to other maytansinoids through disulfide linkers. Serum concentrations of trastuzumab-MCC-DM1 remained elevated compared with other conjugates, and toxicity in rats was negligible compared with free DM1 or trastuzumab linked to DM1 through a reducible linker. Potent activity was observed on all HER2-overexpressing tumor cells, whereas nontransformed cells and tumor cell lines with normal HER2 expression were unaffected. In addition, trastuzumab-DM1 was active on HER2-overexpressing, trastuzumab-refractory tumors. In summary, trastuzumab-DM1 shows greater activity compared with nonconjugated trastuzumab while maintaining selectivity for HER2-overexpressing tumor cells. Because trastuzumab linked to DM1 through a nonreducible linker offers improved efficacy and pharmacokinetics and reduced toxicity over the reducible disulfide linkers evaluated, trastuzumab-MCC-DM1 was selected for clinical development.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Maytansine, a highly cytotoxic natural product, failed as an anticancer agent in human clinical trials because of unacceptable systemic toxicity. The potent cell killing ability of maytansine can be used in a targeted delivery approach for the selective destruction of cancer cells. A series of new maytansinoids, bearing a disulfide or thiol substituent were synthesized. The chain length of the ester side chain and the degree of steric hindrance on the carbon atom bearing the thiol substituent were varied. Several of these maytansinoids were found to be even more potent in vitro than maytansine. The targeted delivery of these maytansinoids, using monoclonal antibodies, resulted in a high, specific killing of the targeted cells in vitro and remarkable antitumor activity in vivo.
No preview · Article · Aug 2006 · Journal of Medicinal Chemistry
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Antibody-drug conjugates are targeted anticancer agents consisting of a cytotoxic drug covalently linked to a monoclonal antibody for tumor antigen-specific activity. Once bound to the target cell-surface antigen, the conjugate must be processed to release an active form of the drug, which can reach its intracellular target. Here, we used both biological and biochemical methods to better define this process for antibody-maytansinoid conjugates. In particular, we examined the metabolic fate in cells of huC242-maytansinoid conjugates containing either a disulfide linker (huC242-SPDB-DM4) or a thioether linker (huC242-SMCC-DM1). Using cell cycle analysis combined with lysosomal inhibitors, we showed that lysosomal processing is required for the activity of antibody-maytansinoid conjugates, irrespective of the linker. We also identified and characterized the released maytansinoid molecules from these conjugates, and measured their rate of release compared with the kinetics of cell cycle arrest. Both conjugates are efficiently degraded in lysosomes to yield metabolites consisting of the intact maytansinoid drug and linker attached to lysine. The lysine adduct is the sole metabolite from the thioether-linked conjugate. However, the lysine metabolite generated from the disulfide-linked conjugate is reduced and S-methylated to yield the lipophilic and potently cytotoxic metabolite, S-methyl-DM4. These findings provide insight into the mechanism of action of antibody-maytansinoid conjugates in general, and more specifically, identify a biochemical mechanism that may account for the significantly enhanced antitumor efficacy observed with disulfide-linked conjugates.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: It is a commonly held belief that most treatments for disseminated cancers are only moderately effective because the agents lack cell-killing mechanisms that act specifically on cancer cells. In antibody-drug conjugates, such nonspecific cytotoxic agents are combined with exquisitely specific monoclonal antibodies that bind to tumour-associated antigens and, thus, get endowed with new pharmacological characteristics. Not only is their activity newly targeted towards tumours and tumour cells, which hopefully renders them more tumour-specific, but they also acquire much of the pharmacokinetic behaviour of the monoclonal antibody component. With the structural composition of a macromolecular protein (the antibody), a small chemical cytotoxic agent and a linker to chemically connect these two molecules, antibody-drug conjugates are some of the most complex pharmacological agents ever developed. Their development over the last 20 years or so owes much to sophisticated in vitro and in vivo preclinical testing. This review attempts to summarise and exemplify many of the factors that had to be considered during the development, with special emphasis on the in vivo pharmacology of these agents.
No preview · Article · Apr 2006 · Expert opinion on biological therapy
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Conjugates of the anti-CanAg humanized monoclonal antibody huC242 with the microtubule-formation inhibitor DM1 (a maytansinoid), or with the DNA alkylator DC1 (a CC1065 analogue), have been evaluated for their ability to eradicate mixed cell populations formed from CanAg-positive and CanAg-negative cells in culture and in xenograft tumors in mice. We found that in culture, conjugates of either drug killed not only the target antigen-positive cells but also the neighboring antigen-negative cells. Furthermore, we showed that, in vivo, these conjugates were effective in eradicating tumors containing both antigen-positive and antigen-negative cells. The presence of antigen-positive cells was required for this killing of bystander cells. This target cell-activated killing of bystander cells was dependent on the nature of the linker between the antibody and the drug. Conjugates linked via a reducible disulfide bond were capable of exerting the bystander effect whereas equally potent conjugates linked via a nonreducible thioether bond were not. Our data offer a rationale for developing optimally constructed antibody-drug conjugates for treating tumors that express the target antigen either in a homogeneous or heterogeneous manner.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Immunoconjugates are being explored as novel cancer therapies with the promise of target-specific drug delivery. The immunoconjugate, huN901-DM1, composed of the humanized monoclonal IgG1 antibody, huN901, and the maytansinoid drug, DM1, is being tested in clinical trials to treat small cell lung carcinoma (SCLC). huN901-DM1 contains an average of three to four DM1 drug molecules per huN901 antibody molecule. The drug molecules are linked to huN901 through random modification of huN901 at epsilon-amino groups of lysine residues, thus yielding a heterogeneous population of conjugate species. We studied the drug distribution profile of huN901-DM1 by electrospray time-of-flight mass spectrometry(ESI-TOFMS), which showed that one to six DM1 drug molecules were attached to an antibody molecule. Both light and heavy chains contained linked drugs. The conjugation sites in both chains were determined by peptide mapping using trypsin and Asp-N protease digestion. Trypsin digestion identified modified lysine residues, since these residues were no longer susceptible to enzymatic cleavage after conjugation with the drug. With respect to Asp-N digestion, modified peptides were identified by observing a mass increase corresponding to the modification. The two digestion methods provided consistent results, leading to the identification of 20 modified lysine residues in both light and heavy chains. Each lysine residue was only partially modified. No conjugation sites were found in complementarity determining regions (CDRs). Using structural models of human IgG1, it was found that modified lysine residues were on the surface in areas of structural flexibility and had large solvent accessibility.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The aim of this study was to perform structural characterization of a recombinant monoclonal antibody (MAb), huN901, by electrospray time-of-flight mass spectrometry (ESI-TOFMS) using both "top-down" and "bottom-up" approaches.
In the top-down approach, the molecular masses of the deglycosylated huN901 and the light and heavy chains of the antibody were measured by direct infusion MS and liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS). In the bottom-up approach, trypsin and Asp-N protease were used to digest the separated, reduced and alkylated light and heavy chains followed by LC-MS analysis of the digests.
The primary structure and post-translational modifications of huN901 were characterized by both top-down and bottom-up MS approaches. Modifications of N-terminal pyroglutamate formation, cleavage of C-terminal lysine, glycosylation, and deamidation were identified in the antibody heavy chain by both protein mass measurement and peptide mapping. No modifications were found in the complementarity determining regions (CDRs) of both chains. Both trypsin and Asp-N protease digestion had an average sequence recovery of 97%, and generated complimentary mapping results with complete sequence recovery.
ESI-TOFMS is a superior tool to characterize MAb and other complex protein pharmaceuticals.
No preview · Article · Sep 2005 · Pharmaceutical Research
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Recombinant monoclonal antibody drug products play an increasingly important role in the treatment of various diseases. Antibodies are large, multi-chain proteins and antibody preparations often contain several molecular variants, which renders them heterogeneous. The heterogeneity is further increased in immunoconjugates prepared by covalently linking several drug molecules per antibody molecule. As part of the product characterization, the molecular weights of the antibodies or their drug conjugates need to be measured. Electrospray ionization mass spectrometry (ESI-MS) is well suited for the analysis of recombinant antibodies and immunoconjugates. Sample preparation is an important element of ESI-MS analysis, in particular samples need to be freed of interfering charged species, such as salts and buffer components. In this paper, Amicon centrifugal filters, reversed-phase high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), and size-exclusion HPLC were evaluated for sample desalting. Size-exclusion HPLC, using aqueous acetonitrile as the mobile phase, directly coupled to ESI-MS provided the best performance and was optimized for the study of immunoconjugates. The results showed that antibodies carrying covalently linked maytansinoid molecules generated charge envelope profiles that differ from those of the non-conjugated antibody. For the determination of the distribution of the various conjugate species in an immunoconjugate sample prepared by randomly linking in the average 3.6 drug molecules per antibody molecule, the experimental conditions needed to be carefully selected to allow acquisition of the whole spectrum containing the charge envelopes of all species.
No preview · Article · Jul 2005 · Rapid Communications in Mass Spectrometry
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The humanized monoclonal antibody maytansinoid conjugate, cantuzumab mertansine (huC242-DM1) that contains on average three to four linked drug molecules per antibody molecule was evaluated in CD-1 mice for its pharmacokinetic behavior and tissue distribution, and the results were compared with those of the free antibody huC242. The pharmacokinetics in blood were similar for (125)I-labeled conjugate and antibody with terminal half-lives of 154 and 156 h, respectively. Pharmacokinetic analysis using an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) method, which measures intact conjugate in plasma samples revealed a faster clearance for the conjugate corresponding to a half-life of 42.2 h. This faster clearance is explained as the result of clearance from circulation and concomitant clearance of drug from circulating conjugate through linker cleavage. An antibody-specific ELISA allowed the determination of the clearance rate of the antibody component from circulation. The drug clearance rate from circulating conjugate was then calculated as the difference between the clearance of the conjugate and the clearance of the antibody component and found to be about three times that of the antibody component. The above results were confirmed with a conjugate, huC242-[(3)H]DM1, where the linked DM1 drugs carried a stable tritium label. Tissue distribution studies with (125)I-labeled conjugate and antibody showed antibody-like behavior for the conjugate; the antibody of the conjugate did not distribute or bind significantly to any solid tissue.
No preview · Article · Apr 2004 · Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: An antagonistic monoclonal antibody, designated EM164, has been developed which binds specifically to the human insulin-like growth factor I receptor (IGF-IR) and inhibits the proliferation and survival functions of the receptor in cancer cells. EM164 was initially selected by a rapid cell-based screen of hybridoma supernatants to identify antibodies that bind to IGF-IR but not to the homologous insulin receptor and that show maximal inhibition of IGF-I-stimulated autophosphorylation of IGF-IR. EM164 binds tightly to IGF-IR with a dissociation constant K(d) of 0.1 nM, inhibits binding of IGF-I and antagonizes its effects on cells completely, and has no agonistic activity on its own. EM164 inhibits IGF-I-, IGF-II-, and serum-stimulated proliferation and survival of diverse human cancer cell lines in vitro, including breast, lung, colon, cervical, ovarian, pancreatic, melanoma, prostate, neuroblastoma, rhabdomyosarcoma, and osteosarcoma cancer lines. It also suppresses the autocrine or paracrine proliferation of several cancer cell lines. EM164 was the most potent antagonistic anti-IGF-IR antibody tested when compared with several commercially available antibodies. The in vitro inhibitory effect could be extended to in vivo tumor models, where EM164 caused regression of established BxPC-3 human pancreatic tumor xenografts in SCID mice. The antitumor effect of treatment with EM164 could be enhanced by combining it with the cytotoxic agent gemcitabine. These data support the development of EM164 as a candidate therapeutic agent that targets IGF-IR function in cancer cells.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A large number of cytotoxic compounds are currently used as chemotherapeutic drugs to treat various malignancies. In general, the therapeutic efficacy of these drugs is limited by their narrow therapeutic window’ primarily due to their lack of selectivity in killing cells that results in systemic toxicity at therapeutic doses.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The development of disease-fighting agents will be increasingly based on information from the genomic analysis of healthy and diseased cells. In cancer this information will eventually lead to the discovery of somatic mutations that led to the generation of tumorigenic cells and the appearance of neoplasias. This will spur the development of treatments directed towards these funadamental tumorigenic mechanisms. Today, genomic analysis of cancer tissues has already yielded biological markers for cancers, such as proteins that are preferentially or exclusively expressed on cancer cells. Monoclonal antibodies can be generated to recognize and specifically bind to these cancer markers. If the markers are expressed on the surface of the cancer cells, monoclonal antibodies administered to a patient will travel to the tumor and accumulate at the tumor through their binding. This can be exploited for the specific delivery of cell-killing drugs in form of covalently linked antibody-drug conjugates. Such antibody-drug conjugates are the most rapid way of converting today's genomic information into specific anti-cancer treatments. The principles guiding the preparation of antibody-drug conjugates, the generation of effective conjugates, and the current development status are discussed.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Using a series of insulin-like growth factor I (IGF-I) receptor mutants, we have attempted to define domains required for transmitting the antiapoptotic signal from the receptor and to compare these domains with those required for mitogenesis or transformation. In FL5.12 cells transfected with wild-type IGF-I receptors, IGF-I affords protection from interleukin 3 withdrawal but is not mitogenic. An IGF-I receptor lacking a functional ATP binding site provided no protection from apoptosis. However, receptors mutated at tyrosine residue 950 or in the tyrosine cluster (1131, 1135, and 1136) within the kinase domain remained capable of suppressing apoptosis, although such mutations are known to inactivate transforming and mitogenic functions. In the C terminus of the IGF-I receptor, two mutations, one at tyrosine 1251 and one which replaced residues histidine 1293 and lysine 1294, abolished the antiapoptotic function, whereas mutation of the four serines at 1280 to 1283 did not. Interestingly, receptors truncated at the C terminus had enhanced antiapoptotic function. In Rat-1/ c-MycER fibroblasts, the Y950F mutant and the tyrosine cluster mutant could still provide protection from c-Myc-induced apoptosis, whereas mutant Y1250/1251F could not. These studies demonstrate that the domains of the IGF-I receptor required for its antiapoptotic function are distinct from those required for its proliferation or transformation functions and suggest that domains of the receptor required for inhibition of apoptosis are necessary but not sufficient for transformation.
Full-text · Article · Feb 1997 · Molecular and Cellular Biology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The variable domain resurfacing and CDR-grafting approaches to antibody humanization were compared directly on the two murine monoclonal antibodies N901 (anti-CD56) and anti-B4 (anti-CD19). Resurfacing replaces the set of surface residues of a rodent variable region with a human set of surface residues. The method of CDR-grafting conceptually consists of transferring the CDRs from a rodent antibody onto the Fv framework of a human antibody. Computer-aided molecular modeling was used to design the initial CDR-grafted and resurfaced versions of these two antibodies. The initial versions of resurfaced N901 and resurfaced anti-B4 maintained the full binding affinity of the original murine parent antibodies and further refinements to these versions described herein generated five new resurfaced antibodies that contain fewer murine residues at surface positions, four of which also have the full parental binding affinity. A mutational study of three surface positions within 5 A of the CDRs of resurfaced anti-B4 revealed a remarkable ability of the resurfaced antibodies to maintain binding affinity despite dramatic changes of charges near their antigen recognition surfaces, suggesting that the resurfacing approach can be used with a high degree of confidence to design humanized antibodies that maintain the full parental binding affinity. By comparison CDR-grafted anti-B4 antibodies with parental affinity were produced only after seventeen versions were attempted using two different strategies for selecting the human acceptor frameworks. For both the CDR-grafted anti-B4 and N901 antibodies, full restoration of antigen binding affinity was achieved when the most identical human acceptor frameworks were selected. The CDR-grafted anti-B4 antibodies that maintained high affinity binding for CD19 had more murine residues at surface positions than any of the three versions of the resurfaced anti-B4 antibody. This observation suggests that the resurfacing approach can be used to produce humanized antibodies with reduced antigenic potential relative to their corresponding CDR-grafted versions.
Full-text · Article · Nov 1996 · Protein engineering
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The maytansinoid drug DM1 is 100- to 1000-fold more cytotoxic than anticancer drugs that are currently in clinical use. The immunoconjugate C242-DM1 was prepared by conjugating DM1 to the monoclonal antibody C242, which recognizes a mucin-type glycoprotein expressed to various extents by human colorectal cancers. C242-DM1 was found to be highly cytotoxic toward cultured colon cancer cells in an antigen-specific manner and showed remarkable antitumor efficacy in vivo. C242-DM1 cured mice bearing subcutaneous COLO 205 human colon tumor xenografts (tumor size at time of treatment 65-130 mm3), at doses that showed very little toxicity and were well below the maximum tolerated dose. C242-DM1 could even effect complete regressions or cures in animals with large (260- to 500-mm3) COLO 205 tumor xenografts. Further, C242-DM1 induced complete regressions of subcutaneous LoVo and HT-29 colon tumor xenografts that express the target antigen in a heterogeneous manner. C242-DM1 represents a new generation of immunoconjugates that may yet fulfill the promise of effective cancer therapy through antibody targeting of cytotoxic agents.
Preview · Article · Sep 1996 · Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The CD-19-directed immunotoxin anti-B4-blocked ricin (anti-B4-bR) is currently in clinical trials for the treatment of B-cell malignancies. To explore the potential of using anti-B4-bR with chemotherapy protocols we tested the in vivo efficacy of the immunotoxin in combination with two multi-drug chemotherapeutic regimens in severe combined immunodeficient (SCID) mice bearing disseminated tumors of the multidrug-resistant human B-cell lymphoma Namalwa/mdr-1. In cytotoxicity studies in vitro, combinations of the immunotoxin with cisplatin produced supra-additive killing effects on both Namalwa and Namalwa/mdr-1 cells, whereas anti-B4-bR combined with 4-hydroperoxy-cyclophosphamide caused additive killing of both cell lines. In vivo cyclophosphamide, cisplatin, vincristine, doxorubicin, and etoposide as single agents, were effective in prolonging the survival of SCID mice burdened with the Namalwa tumor, whereas only cyclophosphamide and cisplatin were effective on Namalwa/mdr-1 tumors. Treatment of Namalwa/mdr-1-bearing mice with anti-B4-bR alone or with the drug combination CHOE (consisting of cyclophosphamide, vincristine, doxorubicin, and etoposide) alone increased the lifespan of the tumor-burdened mice by 58% and 73%, respectively. However, treatment with five daily bolus intravenous injections of anti-B4-bR followed by CHOE increased the lifespan by 173%, and 20% of the mice were cured. The drug combination CCE (cyclophosphamide, cisplatin, and etoposide) alone could increase the lifespan of the Namalwa/mdr-1 tumor-burdened mice by 129% compared with untreated controls. Combination therapy with anti-B4-bR and CCE produced long-term cures in 50% of the tumor-burdened mice. These results suggest that anti-B4-bR in combination with current multidrug regimens may constitute a highly efficacious modality for the treatment of drug-resistant B-cell malignancies.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The reagent 2-iminothiolane (2-IT) is used to introduce thiol groups into proteins and peptides by reactions of their amino groups. In this study, we report that the thiol adduct initially formed by the reaction of an amine with 2-IT (a 4-mercaptobutyramidine) is unstable and decays by a first-order process to a nonthiol product (an N-substituted 2-iminothiolane) with the loss of ammonia. The thiol adducts derived from amines of low pKa values (approximately 8; e.g., alpha-amino groups in peptides) decay more rapidly than those derived from amines of high pKa values ( similar 9.5; e.g., benzylamine, ethanolamine, lysine residues in proteins), with half-lives at pH 8 ranging from 0.3 to 3 h at 23 degrees C, and from 1 to 44 h at 0 degrees C. In the case of reactions of peptides with 2-IT, the substituents at the alpha-carbon also influence the decay of the initial thiol adducts. The decay of the initial thiol adduct to an N-substituted 2-iminothiolane was confirmed for the reaction between benzylamine and 2-IT by the isolation of N-benzyl-2-iminothiolane and its characterization by elemental analysis and mass spectrometry. The decay of the initial 4-mercaptobutyramidine is prevented if the thiol group is capped, e. g., in the form of a disulfide group, or if the solution is acidified (pH 3 to 4). Immediate capping of the thiol is, therefore, recommended when using 2-IT in the formation of bioconjugates. For amines of high pKa, the N-substituted 2-iminothiolane product can be cleaved by hydroxylamine, resulting initially in a thiol which then decays to N-hydroxy-2-iminothiolane regenerating the original amine. For amines of low pKa, the N-substituted 2-iminothiolane product can be hydrolyzed at pH 5 to generate a stable thiol with an amide functionality (an N-substituted 4-mercaptobutyramide).
No preview · Article · May 1996 · Analytical Biochemistry
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Anti-B4-blocked ricin (anti-B4-bR) is an immunotoxin directed against CD19-positive cells that is currently being tested in several B-cell leukemia/lymphoma clinical trials. To explore the possibility of using anti-B4-bR in combination with chemotherapy protocols, we investigated the in vitro and in vivo cytotoxic effects of combining it with doxorubicin or etoposide using the lymphoma cell line Namalwa and a P-glycoprotein-expressing cell line, Namalwa/mdr-1, obtained by retroviral infection of Namalwa cells with the mdr-1 gene. Namalwa/mdr-1 cells were slightly more sensitive to anti-B4-bR than Namalwa cells; IC37 values were approximately 4 pmol/L and 8 pmol/L, respectively. When anti-B4-bR was combined simultaneously with doxorubicin or etoposide, additive to supra-additive killing of Namalwa and Namalwa/mdr-1 cells was observed. In xenografts of Namalwa/mdr-1 cells in severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID) mice, doxorubicin and etoposide at their maximum tolerated doses (3 mg/kg x 3 or 15 mg/kg x 3) showed no therapeutic effect. However, treatment with 5 daily bolus injections of anti-B4-bR (50 micrograms/kg) followed by treatment with doxorubicin or etoposide significantly increased the life span of the mice by 129% and 115%, respectively. After treatment with anti-B4-bR, the Namalwa/mdr-1 population expressed lower levels of P-glycoprotein, and this decrease may account for the synergistic action of the drug combinations. These results suggest that anti-B4-bR could be used to good effect in combination with current treatment regimens and further hint at a promising role for this immunotoxin in treatment of disease at the minimal residual disease stage, where cells may be resistant to chemotherapy.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This chapter describes a sensitive spectrophotometric assay for the quantitation of thiol groups that is based on reactivation of papain. The assay involves the reaction of a thiol with an inactive mixed disulfide of papain, resulting in the stoichiometric formation of active papain. The activated papain catalyzes the hydrolysis of a chromogenic substrate that generates an amplified spectrophotometric signal proportional to the initial amount of thiol. This enzyme-amplified assay is about 100-fold more sensitive than Ellman's assay. Amounts of thiol as small as 0.06 nmol have been detected accurately in routine applications of the assay. In the assay, the reaction of a thiol with an excess of papain-S-SCH3 results in the stoichiometric formation of active papain, which can be assayed with a chromogenic substrate, such as N-benzoyl-l-arginine-p-nitroanilide. The assay depends on the rapid and complete thiol–disulfide interchange. The reaction may be slow when the thiol to be assayed has a high pKa (low concentration of the reactive thiolate form) or is sterically less accessible. The reactions between these thiols and papain-S-SCH3 can be accelerated by the addition of a large excess (10- to 100-fold) of a disulfide, such as cystamine. The indirect thiol–disulfide interchange reactions mediated by cystamine result in the stoichiometric formation of active papain, because the overall equilibrium of the reaction between thiols (pKa ∼8–11) and papain-S-SCH3 lies significantly toward the formation of papain-SH (pKa ∼4), even in the presence of a 10- to 100-fold molar excess of cystamine.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Bis-indolyl-(seco)-1,2,9a-tetrahydrocyclopropa[c]benz[e]indol-4-on e compounds are synthetic analogues of CC-1065 that are highly cytotoxic toward a broad spectrum of tumor cell lines. One of these compounds, called DC1, was conjugated to antibodies via novel cleavable disulfide linkers. Conjugates of DC1 with murine mAbs anti-B4 and N901 directed against tumor-associated antigens CD19 and CD56, respectively, proved to be extremely potent and antigen selective in killing target cells in culture. DC1 conjugates with humanized versions of anti-B4 and N901 antibodies were also constructed and demonstrated to be as cytotoxic and selective as the respective murine antibody conjugates. The anti-B4-DC1 conjugate showed antitumor efficacy in an aggressive metastatic human B-cell lymphoma survival model in SCID mice and completely cured animals hearing large tumors. Anti-B4-DC1 was considerably more effective in this tumor model than doxorubicin, cyclophosphamide, etoposide, or vincristine at their maximum tolerated doses.