An Fc engineering approach that modulates antibody-dependent cytokine release without altering cell-killing functions

MAbs. 2015;7(3):494-504. doi: 10.1080/19420862.2015.1022692.


Cytotoxic therapeutic monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) often mediate target cell-killing by eliciting immune effector functions via Fc region interactions with cellular and humoral components of the immune system. Key functions include antibody-dependent cell-mediated cytotoxicity (ADCC), antibody-dependent cellular phagocytosis (ADCP), and complement-dependent cytotoxicity (CDC). However, there has been increased appreciation that along with cell-killing functions, the induction of antibody-dependent cytokine release (ADCR) can also influence disease microenvironments and therapeutic outcomes. Historically, most Fc engineering approaches have been aimed toward modulating ADCC, ADCP, or CDC. In the present study, we describe an Fc engineering approach that, while not resulting in impaired ADCC or ADCP, profoundly affects ADCR. As such, when peripheral blood mononuclear cells are used as effector cells against mAb-opsonized tumor cells, the described mAb variants elicit a similar profile and quantity of cytokines as IgG1. In contrast, although the variants elicit similar levels of tumor cell-killing as IgG1 with macrophage effector cells, the variants do not elicit macrophage-mediated ADCR against mAb-opsonized tumor cells. This study demonstrates that Fc engineering approaches can be employed to uncouple macrophage-mediated phagocytic and subsequent cell-killing functions from cytokine release.

Keywords: ADCC, antibody-dependent cell-mediated cytotoxicity; ADCP, antibody-dependent cellular phagocytosis; ADCR, antibody-dependent cytokine release; APCs, antigen-presenting cells; CDC, complement-dependent cytotoxicity; DC, dendritic cell; Fc gamma receptors; FcγR, Fc gamma receptor; IFN, interferon; IL, interleukin; NK, natural killer; PBMC, peripheral blood mononuclear cell; TNF, tumor necrosis factor; antibody-dependent cellular phagocytosis; cytokine release; interferon gamma; interleukin 10; mAbs, monoclonal antibodies; monocyte-derived macrophages; natural killer cells.

MeSH terms

  • Antibodies, Monoclonal* / genetics
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal* / immunology
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal* / pharmacology
  • Antibodies, Neoplasm* / genetics
  • Antibodies, Neoplasm* / immunology
  • Antibodies, Neoplasm* / pharmacology
  • Antibody-Dependent Cell Cytotoxicity* / drug effects
  • Antibody-Dependent Cell Cytotoxicity* / genetics
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Cytokines / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin Fc Fragments* / genetics
  • Immunoglobulin Fc Fragments* / immunology
  • Immunoglobulin Fc Fragments* / pharmacology
  • Macrophages / immunology*
  • Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Neoplasms / immunology
  • Protein Engineering*
  • Tumor Microenvironment / drug effects
  • Tumor Microenvironment / immunology


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Antibodies, Neoplasm
  • Cytokines
  • Immunoglobulin Fc Fragments