Therapeutic monoclonal antibodies are the fastest growing class of biological therapeutics for the treatment of various cancers and inflammatory disorders. In cancer immunotherapy, some IgG1 antibodies rely on the Fc-mediated immune effector function, antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity (ADCC), as the major mode of action to deplete tumor cells. It is well-known that this effector function is modulated by the N-linked glycosylation in the Fc region of the antibody. In particular, absence of core fucose on the Fc N-glycan has been shown to increase IgG1 Fc binding affinity to the FcγRIIIa present on immune effector cells such as natural killer cells and lead to enhanced ADCC activity. As such, various strategies have focused on producing afucosylated antibodies to improve therapeutic efficacy. This review discusses the relevance of antibody core fucosylation to ADCC, different strategies to produce afucosylated antibodies, and an update of afucosylated antibody drugs currently undergoing clinical trials as well as those that have been approved.
Keywords: ADCC; Fc fucosylation; Fc gamma receptors; in vivo efficacy; therapeutic monoclonal antibodies.