Monoclonal antibodies specific for the neu oncogene product directly mediate anti-tumor effects in vivo

Oncogene. 1988 Apr;2(4):387-94.


We have produced a panel of monoclonal antibodies which bind cell surface domains of the 185 Kd tumor antigen (p185) encoded by the neu oncogene. All of these antibodies stain neu-transformed cells in immunofluorescence assays and immunoprecipitate p185 from metabolically labeled cell lysates. All of the anti-p185 monoclonal antibodies, regardless of isotype, exert a selective cytostatic effect on the growth of neu-transformed cells suspended in soft agar, demonstrating their ability to directly inhibit the transformed phenotype. Anti-p185 antibodies of the IgM, IgG2a, and IgG2b isotypes exert a cytolytic effect on neu-transformed cells in the presence of complement. Only one IgG2a monoclonal antibody is also able to mediate minimal levels of antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity (ADCC) (Roussel et al., 1984) in the presence of non-immune spleen cells. In vivo administration of anti-p185 antibodies of the IgG1, IgG2a, and IgG2b isotypes exerts a profound inhibitory effect on the tumorigenic growth of neu-transformed cells. This tumor inhibitory effect is unaffected by depleting tumor bearing animals of complement, and is only minimally affected by depleting tumor bearing animals of macrophages. This suggests that neither complement-mediated killing nor ADCC are necessary for the anti-tumor effects of p185-specific monoclonal antibodies. The results presented here demonstrate that monoclonal antibodies reactive with cell surface domains of an oncogene-encoded protein can directly inhibit tumor growth in vitro and in vivo. Such antibodies may prove useful in the therapy of certain malignancies.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / immunology*
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / therapeutic use
  • Antibody-Dependent Cell Cytotoxicity
  • Antigens, Neoplasm / immunology
  • Cell Division
  • Cell Transformation, Neoplastic* / prevention & control
  • Complement System Proteins / immunology
  • Immunoglobulin G / immunology
  • Immunoglobulin Isotypes / immunology
  • Immunoglobulin M / immunology
  • Macrophages / immunology
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Mice, Inbred C3H
  • Mice, Nude
  • Neoplasms, Experimental / immunology
  • Neoplasms, Experimental / therapy
  • Oncogenes
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins / immunology*
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins / physiology
  • Receptor, ErbB-2


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Antigens, Neoplasm
  • Immunoglobulin G
  • Immunoglobulin Isotypes
  • Immunoglobulin M
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins
  • Complement System Proteins
  • Receptor, ErbB-2