A single-chain triplebody with specificity for CD19 and CD33 mediates effective lysis of mixed lineage leukemia cells by dual targeting

MAbs. Jan-Feb 2011;3(1):21-30. doi: 10.4161/mabs.3.1.14057. Epub 2011 Jan 1.


A single-chain triplebody (sctb) 33-ds16-ds19 comprising two distal single-chain Fv fragments (scFvs) specific for the lymphoid antigen CD19 and the myeloid antigen CD33 flanking a central scFv specific for CD16, which is the low affinity Fc-receptor (FcγRIII) present on natural killer cells and macrophages, was produced and its properties were investigated. CD33 and CD19 in combination are present on acute leukemiablasts with mixed lineage phenotype, but not on normal human hematopoietic cells. For comparison, two bispecific scFvs (bsscFvs), ds19-ds16 and 33-ds16, with monovalent binding to CD19 and CD33, respectively, were also studied. The sctb 33-ds16-ds19 specifically interacted with all 3 antigens. On the antigen double-positive cell line BV-173, the sctb bound with 2-fold greater avidity than bsscFv ds19-ds16 (KD = 21 vs. 42 nM) and with 1.4-fold greater avidity than bsscFv 33-ds16 (KD = 29 nM). All 3 fusion proteins had similar affinity for CD16 and sufficient thermic stability in human serum. In antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity (ADCC) reactions with human mononuclear cells as effectors, the sctb promoted lysis of BV-173 cells at 23-fold lower concentrations than bsscFv ds19-ds16 and at 1.4-fold lower concentrations than bsscFv 33-ds16. The sctb also mediated potent ADCC of the antigen double-positive mixed lineage leukemia cell line SEM, and the half-maximal concentration EC50 for BV-173 cells was 7 pM. Therefore, CD19 and CD33 are present on the surface of these leukemic cell lines such that they can be connected by a single sctb molecule, permitting the recruitment of NK cells via CD16 and tumor cell lysis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antibody Specificity / immunology
  • Antigens, CD / immunology*
  • Antigens, CD / metabolism
  • Antigens, CD19 / immunology*
  • Antigens, CD19 / metabolism
  • Antigens, Differentiation, Myelomonocytic / immunology*
  • Antigens, Differentiation, Myelomonocytic / metabolism
  • Blotting, Western
  • CHO Cells
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Cricetinae
  • Cricetulus
  • Cytotoxicity, Immunologic / immunology
  • Flow Cytometry
  • HEK293 Cells
  • Humans
  • Kinetics
  • Leukemia / immunology
  • Leukemia / pathology
  • Leukocytes, Mononuclear / cytology
  • Leukocytes, Mononuclear / immunology
  • Leukocytes, Mononuclear / metabolism
  • Protein Binding / immunology
  • Protein Stability
  • Receptors, IgG / immunology
  • Receptors, IgG / metabolism
  • Recombinant Proteins / immunology
  • Recombinant Proteins / metabolism
  • Sialic Acid Binding Ig-like Lectin 3
  • Single-Chain Antibodies / genetics
  • Single-Chain Antibodies / immunology*
  • Single-Chain Antibodies / metabolism
  • Temperature


  • Antigens, CD
  • Antigens, CD19
  • Antigens, Differentiation, Myelomonocytic
  • CD33 protein, human
  • Receptors, IgG
  • Recombinant Proteins
  • Sialic Acid Binding Ig-like Lectin 3
  • Single-Chain Antibodies