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PLoS By Category | Recent PLoS Articles
Biochemistry - Biotechnology - Hematology - Pharmacology

Natural Form of Noncytolytic Flexible Human Fc as a Long-Acting Carrier of Agonistic Ligand, Erythropoietin
Published: Friday, September 16, 2011
Author: Se Jin Im et al.

by Se Jin Im, Sang In Yang, Se Hwan Yang, Dong Hoon Choi, So Young Choi, Hea Sook Kim, Do Soo Jang, Kyeong Sik Jin, Yo-Kyung Chung, Seung-Hee Kim, Sang Hoon Paik, Yoo Chang Park, Moon Koo Chung, Yong Bum Kim, Kang-Hyun Han, Kwan Yong Choi, Young Chul Sung

Human IgG1 Fc has been widely used as a bioconjugate, but exhibits shortcomings, such as antibody- and complement-mediated cytotoxicity as well as decreased bioactivity, when applied to agonistic proteins. Here, we constructed a nonimmunogenic, noncytolytic and flexible hybrid Fc (hyFc) consisting of IgD and IgG4, and tested its function using erythropoietin (EPO) conjugate, EPO-hyFc. Despite low amino acid homology (20.5%) between IgD Fc and IgG4 Fc, EPO-hyFc retained “Y-shaped” structure and repeated intravenous administrations of EPO-hyFc into monkeys did not generate EPO-hyFc-specific antibody responses. Furthermore, EPO-hyFc could not bind to Fc?R I and C1q in contrast to EPO-IgG1 Fc. In addition, EPO-hyFc exhibited better in vitro bioactivity and in vivo bioactivity in rats than EPO-IgG1 Fc, presumably due to the high flexibility of IgD. Moreover, the mean serum half-life of EPO-hyFc(H), a high sialic acid content form of EPO-hyFc, was approximately 2-fold longer than that of the heavily glycosylated EPO, darbepoetin alfa, in rats. More importantly, subcutaneous injection of EPO-hyFc(H) not only induced a significantly greater elevation of serum hemoglobin levels than darbepoetin alfa in both normal rats and cisplatin-induced anemic rats, but also displayed a delayed time to maximal serum level and twice final area-under-the-curve (AUClast). Taken together, hyFc might be a more attractive Fc conjugate for agonistic proteins/peptides than IgG1 Fc due to its capability to elongate their half-lives without inducing host effector functions and hindering bioactivity of fused molecules. Additionally, a head-to-head comparison demonstrated that hyFc-fusion strategy more effectively improved the in vivo bioactivity of EPO than the hyperglycosylation approach.