A blocking antibody against canine CSF-1R maturated by limited CDR mutagenesis

Antib Ther. 2020 Aug 12;3(3):193-204. doi: 10.1093/abt/tbaa018. eCollection 2020 Jul.


CSF-1R is a receptor mostly associated with the mononuclear phagocytic system. However, its expression within tumors has been linked with poor prognosis in both humans and dogs. Accordingly, several reports have demonstrated the beneficial effects of blocking CSF-1R in model systems of cancer. In this study, we generated a monoclonal antibody that could block CSF-1R in dogs as the first step to develop an anticancer drug for this species. Initially, an antibody was raised by the hybridoma methodology against the fragment responsible for receptor dimerization. mAb3.1, one of the resulting hybridoma clones, was able to bind macrophages in fixed tissues and was shown to inhibit cells of the mononuclear phagocytic line. Nevertheless, mAb 3.1 could not bind to some glycoforms of the receptor in its native form, while also demonstrating cross-reactivity with other proteins. To enhance binding properties of the mAb, five amino acids of the complementarity-determining region 2 of the variable heavy chain of mAb3.1 were mutated by PCR, and the variant scFv clones were screened by phage display. The selected scFv clones demonstrated improved binding to the native receptor as well as increased anti-macrophage activity. The resulting scFv antibody fragment presented here has the potential for use in cancer patients and in inflammatory diseases. Furthermore, this work provides insights into the use of such restricted mutations in antibody engineering.

Keywords: CDR 2; CSF-1R; directed evolution; dog; mAb.