TIGIT is an immune checkpoint receptor that is expressed on subsets of activated T cells and natural killer (NK) cells. Several ligands for TIGIT, including poliovirus receptor (PVR), are expressed on cancer cells and mediate inhibitory signaling to suppress antitumor activities of the immune cells. Many studies support that the TIGIT signaling is a potential target for cancer immunotherapy. We developed an IgG4-type monoclonal antibody against human TIGIT, designated as MG1131, using a phage display library of single-chain variable fragments (scFvs). MG1131 interacts with TIGIT much more tightly than PVR does. The crystal structure of a scFv version of MG1131 bound to TIGIT was determined, showing that MG1131 could block the PVR-TIGIT interaction and thus the immunosuppressive signaling of TIGIT. Consistently, MG1131 is bound to TIGIT-expressing cells and interferes with PVR binding to these cells. Moreover, MG1131 increased NK cell-mediated tumor killing activities, inhibited immunosuppressive activity of regulatory T (Treg) cells from healthy donors, and restored interferon-γ secretion from peripheral blood mononuclear cells derived from multiple myeloma patients. MG1131 also increased T cell infiltration to the tumor site and inhibited tumor growth in mice. Collectively, these data indicate that MG1131 modulates the effector functions of T cells and NK cells positively and Treg cells negatively.
Keywords: Cancer; TIGIT; crystal structure; immune checkpoint; monoclonal antibody.