Logic-gated antibody pairs that selectively act on cells co-expressing two antigens

Nat Biotechnol. 2022 Oct;40(10):1509-1519. doi: 10.1038/s41587-022-01384-1. Epub 2022 Jul 25.


The use of therapeutic monoclonal antibodies is constrained because single antigen targets often do not provide sufficient selectivity to distinguish diseased from healthy tissues. We present HexElect®, an approach to enhance the functional selectivity of therapeutic antibodies by making their activity dependent on clustering after binding to two different antigens expressed on the same target cell. lmmunoglobulin G (lgG)-mediated clustering of membrane receptors naturally occurs on cell surfaces to trigger complement- or cell-mediated effector functions or to initiate intracellular signaling. We engineer the Fc domains of two different lgG antibodies to suppress their individual homo-oligomerization while promoting their pairwise hetero-oligomerization after binding co-expressed antigens. We show that recruitment of complement component C1q to these hetero-oligomers leads to clustering-dependent activation of effector functions such as complement mediated killing of target cells or activation of cell surface receptors. HexElect allows selective antibody activity on target cells expressing unique, potentially unexplored combinations of surface antigens.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Antigens*
  • Antigens, Surface
  • Complement C1q* / metabolism
  • Logic


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Antigens
  • Antigens, Surface
  • Complement C1q