Function of Novel Anti-CD19 Chimeric Antigen Receptors with Human Variable Regions Is Affected by Hinge and Transmembrane Domains

Mol Ther. 2017 Nov 1;25(11):2452-2465. doi: 10.1016/j.ymthe.2017.07.013. Epub 2017 Jul 27.


Anti-CD19 chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cells have caused remissions of B cell malignancies, but problems including cytokine-mediated toxicity and short persistence of CAR T cells in vivo might limit the effectiveness of anti-CD19 CAR T cells. Anti-CD19 CARs that have been tested clinically had single-chain variable fragments (scFvs) derived from murine antibodies. We have designed and constructed novel anti-CD19 CARs containing a scFv with fully human variable regions. T cells expressing these CARs specifically recognized CD19+ target cells and carried out functions including degranulation, cytokine release, and proliferation. We compared CARs with CD28 costimulatory moieties along with hinge and transmembrane domains from either the human CD28 molecule or the human CD8α molecule. Compared with T cells expressing CARs with CD28 hinge and transmembrane domains, T cells expressing CARs with CD8α hinge and transmembrane domains produced lower levels of cytokines and exhibited lower levels of activation-induced cell death (AICD). Importantly, CARs with hinge and transmembrane regions from either CD8α or CD28 had similar abilities to eliminate established tumors in mice. In anti-CD19 CARs with CD28 costimulatory moieties, lower levels of inflammatory cytokine production and AICD are potential clinical advantages of CD8α hinge and transmembrane domains over CD28 hinge and transmembrane domains.

Keywords: T cell; chimeric antigen receptor; immunotherapy.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Antigens, CD19 / genetics
  • Antigens, CD19 / immunology
  • CD28 Antigens / genetics
  • CD28 Antigens / immunology*
  • CD8 Antigens / genetics
  • CD8 Antigens / immunology*
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Gene Expression
  • Humans
  • Immunotherapy, Adoptive / methods*
  • Leukemia, Lymphocytic, Chronic, B-Cell / genetics
  • Leukemia, Lymphocytic, Chronic, B-Cell / immunology
  • Leukemia, Lymphocytic, Chronic, B-Cell / pathology
  • Leukemia, Lymphocytic, Chronic, B-Cell / therapy*
  • Lymphocyte Transfusion
  • Mice
  • Plasmids / chemistry
  • Plasmids / metabolism
  • Protein Domains
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell / genetics
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell / immunology*
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins / chemistry
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins / genetics
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins / immunology
  • Single-Chain Antibodies / chemistry
  • Single-Chain Antibodies / genetics*
  • Survival Analysis
  • T-Lymphocytes / cytology
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • T-Lymphocytes / transplantation
  • Transduction, Genetic
  • Tumor Burden
  • Xenograft Model Antitumor Assays


  • Antigens, CD19
  • CD19 molecule, human
  • CD28 Antigens
  • CD8 Antigens
  • CD8 antigen, alpha chain
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins
  • Single-Chain Antibodies