Implications of receptor-mediated endocytosis and intracellular trafficking dynamics in the development of antibody drug conjugates

MAbs. Jan-Feb 2013;5(1):13-21. doi: 10.4161/mabs.22854. Epub 2012 Dec 6.


The use of antibody-drug conjugates (ADCs) as a therapeutic platform to treat cancer has recently gained substantial momentum. This therapeutic modality has the potential to increase the efficacy and reduce the systemic toxicity associated with current therapeutic regimens. The efficacy of ADCs, however, relies on the proper exploitation of intracellular sorting dynamics of the antigen as well as the specificity, selectivity and pharmacokinetic properties of the antibody itself. Our understanding of endocytosis and endosomal trafficking of receptors has appreciably increased in recent years, as improvements in the assays used to study these events have resolved many of the molecular mechanisms regulating these processes. As a result, we now have the knowledge necessary to exploit these pathways efficiently to improve the efficacy of antibody-based therapy. This review discusses some recent studies that have explored how endo/lysosomal dynamics can affect the efficacy of engineered therapeutic antibodies, including ADCs.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / metabolism
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / therapeutic use*
  • Endocytosis
  • Endosomes / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Immunoconjugates / metabolism
  • Immunoconjugates / therapeutic use*
  • Mice
  • Neoplasms / therapy
  • Protein Engineering
  • Protein Transport*
  • Receptor, ErbB-2 / metabolism*


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Immunoconjugates
  • Receptor, ErbB-2