by Sahar Mohseni Nodehi, Roland Repp, Christian Kellner, Joachim Bräutigam, Matthias Staudinger, Natalie Schub, Matthias Peipp, Martin Gramatzki, Andreas Humpe
CD96, a cell surface antigen recently described to be preferentially expressed on acute myeloid leukemia (AML) leukemic stem cells (LSC) may represent an interesting target structure for the development of antibody-based therapeutic approaches. The v-regions from the CD96-specific hybridoma TH-111 were isolated and used to generate a CD96-specific single chain fragment of the variable regions (scFv). An affinity maturated variant resulting in 4-fold enhanced CD96-binding was generated by random mutagenesis and stringent selection using phage display. The affinity maturated scFv CD96-S32F was used to generate bivalent mini-antibodies by genetically fusing an IgG1 wild type Fc region or a variant with enhanced CD16a binding. Antibody dependent cell-mediated cytotoxicity (ADCC) experiments revealed that Fc engineering was essential to trigger significant effector cell-mediated lysis when the wild type scFv was used. The mini-antibody variant generated by fusing the affinity-maturated scFv with the optimized Fc variant demonstrated the highest ADCC activity (2.3-fold enhancement in efficacy). In conclusion, our data provide proof of concept that CD96 could serve as a target structure for effector cell-mediated lysis and demonstrate that both enhancing affinity for CD96 and for CD16a resulted in mini-antibodies with the highest cytolytic potential.