Macrophage-Mediated Trogocytosis Leads to Death of Antibody-Opsonized Tumor Cells

Mol Cancer Ther. 2016 Aug;15(8):1879-89. doi: 10.1158/1535-7163.MCT-15-0335. Epub 2016 May 25.


Understanding the complex behavior of effector cells such as monocytes or macrophages in regulating cancerous growth is of central importance for cancer immunotherapy. Earlier studies using CD20-specific antibodies have demonstrated that the Fcγ receptor (FcγR)-mediated transfer of the targeted receptors from tumor cells to these effector cells through trogocytosis can enable escape from antibody therapy, leading to the viewpoint that this process is protumorigenic. In the current study, we demonstrate that persistent trogocytic attack results in the killing of HER2-overexpressing breast cancer cells. Further, antibody engineering to increase FcγR interactions enhances this tumoricidal activity. These studies extend the complex repertoire of activities of macrophages to trogocytic-mediated cell death of HER2-overexpressing target cells and have implications for the development of effective antibody-based therapies. Mol Cancer Ther; 15(8); 1879-89. ©2016 AACR.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antibodies / immunology*
  • Antibody Affinity / immunology
  • Antibody-Dependent Cell Cytotoxicity
  • Antigens, CD20 / immunology
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Humans
  • Macrophages / immunology*
  • Macrophages / metabolism*
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Phagocytosis / immunology*
  • Protein Binding / immunology
  • Receptors, IgG / metabolism
  • Rituximab / immunology
  • Rituximab / pharmacology
  • Trastuzumab / immunology
  • Trastuzumab / pharmacology


  • Antibodies
  • Antigens, CD20
  • Receptors, IgG
  • Rituximab
  • Trastuzumab