Publication Date

2011-12-12

Availability

Open access

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Cancer Biology (Medicine)

Date of Defense

2011-05-12

First Committee Member

Joseph Rosenblatt

Second Committee Member

Eli Gilboa

Third Committee Member

Robert Levy

Fourth Committee Member

Izidore Lossos

Fifth Committee Member

Stefan Gluck

Abstract

CD20 is a 35kDa surface antigen expressed on B cells from the early pre-B stage through the mature B stage. Moreover, the CD20 antigen is found on a majority of B cell malignancies. Rituximab is a chimeric anti-CD20 monoclonal antibody which has been extensively used alone or in combination in the treatment of CD20+ B cell malignancies including acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), non-Hodgkin’s lymphomas (NHL) and chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), as well as in the treatment of numerous autoimmune disorders. Despite its emerging use in the clinic, 30% to 50% of patients with low-grade NHL exhibit no clinical response to Rituximab. Previous work to elucidate the mechanisms of Rituximab resistance has established that antibody dependent cellular cytotoxicity (ADCC) is important as a predominant mechanism of lymphoma cell clearance and that Fcγ receptors (FcγRs) are critical for the in vivo actions of Rituximab in NHL. Natural killer group 2D, NKG2D is a major activating receptor on T lymphocytes and natural killer cells. The NKG2D–ligand (NKG2D-L) interaction triggers an activating signal which results in cytotoxic lysis of the cell expressing the ligand. One potential ligand for murine NKG2D is the retinoic acid early 1β (Rae-1β) protein which is expressed during cellular stress and has a high affinity for the NKG2D receptor in mice. We have recently shown that an anti-HER2-IgG3 fused to murine NKG2D Ligand, Rae1β inhibited HER2+ tumor growth significantly more than Herceptin alone. Similarly, our objective is to enhance the performance of anti-CD20 directed therapy through activation of NK cells by an anti-CD20 antibody encoding the same NK activation ligand. Previous results with anti-HER2-IgG3-Raelβ led us to hypothesize that a CD20 specific fusion protein will bind to CD20 expressing tumor cells and deliver an activation signal to local NKG2D receptors on effector cells triggering a non-FcγR dependent anti-tumor response. Here we show that anti-CD20-NKG2D-L can be synthesized and tested for its ability to bind human CD20 and activate NK cells through the NKG2D receptor in vitro.

Keywords

NKG2D; NK cells; CD20; Antibody; Rituximab; ADCC

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