Publications Repository - Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf

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Influence of Histidine-tag on immunotherapeutic and diagnostic properties of anti-PSCA target modules
Jureczek, J.; Bergmann, R.; Berndt, N.; Albert, S.; Koristka, S.; Arndt, C.; Steinbach, J.; Bachmann, M.; Feldmann, A.;
Antibodies (Abs) and their recombinant derivatives play an increasing role in tumor therapy and diagnostic imaging. The theranostic target modules (TMs) recently developed by us can be used for individualized and precise cancer immunotherapy and at the same time as radiotracers for tumor imaging. The TMs consist of an antigen binding moiety that binds to the prostate stem cell antigen (PSCA) on the tumor cell surface and present the peptide epitope E5B9. Via E5B9 the TMs can retarget human T cells that are genetically modified with universal anti-E5B9 chimeric antigen receptors (UniCARs) towards the tumor cells. The cross-linkage of UniCAR T cells and tumor cells via the TM results in T cell activation and tumor cell killing. This immunotherapeutic approach was shown as an inducible CAR platform technology that can be used for the treatment of leukemic as well as solid cancers. This technic has an intrinsic emergency brake: The short half-life of the TMs in vivo allows a fast switch off of the UniCAR system. In detail, UniCAR T cells per se are inactive because their UniCARs do not recognize an antigen on the cell surface. Only in the presence of tumor-bound TMs UniCAR T cells can be redirected to tumor cells and turned on. But they are switched off when the application of TMs is stopped and their concentration is too low to activate UniCAR T cells what also becomes particularly relevant in case of side effects occur in the patients. TMs cannot only be used as a therapeutic drug but also as a diagnostic tool for tumor imaging. For this purpose TMs can be modified with a bifunctional chelator. After conjugation they can be labeled with radiometals like 64Cu2+ or 68Ga3+ and used as an imaging tracer for PET analysis.
Usually our TMs contain a tag of six histidine residues (His6-tag) at the C-terminus. The His6-tag is used for convenient purification by immobilized metal ion affinity chromatography and detection of the TMs. However the His6-tag may affect PK and biodistribution of the TMs. In particular with respect to clinical application of the TMs the His6-tag may induce immunologic reactions. Furthermore the purification of His6-tagged TMs by immobilized metal ion affinity chromatography might cause metal ions in the TMs which have influence on their radiolabeling and can be critical for patients’ health. To address these concerns we have generated an anti-PSCA TM without His6-tag (PSCA TM) and compared its theranostic properties to the corresponding TM with the His6-tag (PSCA-His TM). The PSCA TMs were successfully prepared by digestion with TEV protease recognizing a strict seven amino acid cleavage recognition site which was introduced upstream from the His6-tag in the PSCA-TEV-His TM construct. Both TMs with or without His6-tag showed similar high binding affinities to PSCA on PC3-PSCA prostate cancer cells whereas the Kd values were in the nM range. As shown by chromium release assays both target modules were able to redirect UniCAR T cells to efficiently kill PSCA-presenting tumor cells in a strictly target-dependent and target-specific manner. In vitro tumor cell killing of PSCA TM was less efficient than PSCA-His TM but still in pM range. Most importantly in NMRI-FOX1nu/nu mice the PSCA TM redirected UniCAR T cells to eliminate luciferase/PSCA-double positive tumor cells as efficient as the PSCA-His TM. PET analysis of the 64Cu-labeled TMs in these mice showed higher accumulation of the PSCA TM in the PSCA-positive tumors and less nonspecific binding in normal tissues (like blood and heart) after 2 h. At the same time the blood clearance of PSCA TM was distinctly faster than of the PSCA-His TM resulting in better contrast of the tumor for the PSCA TM in the PET images after 2 h. On the other hand, the PSCA-His TMs was slower cleared from the blood resulting in a higher PSCA-His TM concentration in the tumor later on after one day.
To summarize we have established two PSCA TMs one with and the other without a C-terminal His6-tag which differ in their theranostic properties. Both TMs efficiently redirect UniCAR T cells to kill tumor cells. The PSCA TMs have a higher tumor accumulation and lower nonspecific binding in the normal tissues and blood resulting in a very short half-life that may allow an even faster emergency shut down of the UniCAR system if necessary and excellent short time imaging. The PSCA-His TMs are characterized by a larger nonspecific binding, slower blood-clearance and are apparently better suited for long-term imaging. Both TMs are applicable for the UniCAR based immunotherapy and imaging, complement each other and so they are suitable for the individualized, precise human theranostic.
Keywords: Radioimmunology, UniCAR, Tumor Immunotherapy
  • Poster
    Workshop und Symposium Tumor Immunology meets Oncology XIV, 24.05.2018, Halle, Deutschland

Publ.-Id: 27444 - Permalink