Tolerogenic nanoparticles restore the antitumor activity of recombinant immunotoxins by mitigating immunogenicity

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2018 Jan 23;115(4):E733-E742. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1717063115. Epub 2018 Jan 8.


Protein-based drugs are very active in treating cancer, but their efficacy can be limited by the formation of neutralizing antidrug antibodies (ADAs). Recombinant immunotoxins are proteins that are very effective in patients with leukemia, where immunity is suppressed, but induce ADAs, which compromise their activity, in patients with intact immunity. Here we induced a specific, durable, and transferable immune tolerance to recombinant immunotoxins by combining them with nanoparticles containing rapamycin (SVP-R). SVP-R mitigated the formation of inhibitory ADAs in naïve and sensitized mice, resulting in restoration of antitumor activity. The immune tolerance is mediated by colocalization of the SVP-R and immunotoxin to dendritic cells and macrophages in the spleen and is abrogated by depletion of regulatory T cells. Tolerance induced by SVPs was not blocked by checkpoint inhibitors or costimulatory agonist monoclonal antibodies that by themselves enhance ADA formation.

Keywords: antidrug antibodies; cancer; mesothelin; nanoparticle; rapamycin.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Neutralizing
  • GPI-Linked Proteins / immunology
  • Humans
  • Immunomodulation*
  • Immunosuppressive Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Immunotoxins / administration & dosage*
  • Immunotoxins / immunology
  • Leukemia / therapy*
  • Mesothelin
  • Nanoparticles
  • Sirolimus / administration & dosage*
  • Time Factors


  • Antibodies, Neutralizing
  • GPI-Linked Proteins
  • Immunosuppressive Agents
  • Immunotoxins
  • Msln protein, mouse
  • Mesothelin
  • Sirolimus