Substitution of Heavy Complementarity Determining Region 3 (CDR-H3) Residues Can Synergistically Enhance Functional Activity of Antibody and Its Binding Affinity to HER2 Antigen

  • Moon, Seung Kee (Bio Medicine Lab., CKD Research Institute, ChongKunDang Pharm.) ;
  • Park, So Ra (Bio Medicine Lab., CKD Research Institute, ChongKunDang Pharm.) ;
  • Park, Ami (Bio Medicine Lab., CKD Research Institute, ChongKunDang Pharm.) ;
  • Oh, Hyun Mi (Bio Medicine Lab., CKD Research Institute, ChongKunDang Pharm.) ;
  • Shin, Hyun Jung (Bio Medicine Lab., CKD Research Institute, ChongKunDang Pharm.) ;
  • Jeon, Eun Ju (Bio Medicine Lab., CKD Research Institute, ChongKunDang Pharm.) ;
  • Kim, Seiwhan (Bio Medicine Lab., CKD Research Institute, ChongKunDang Pharm.) ;
  • Park, Hyun June (Graduate Program of Bioengineering, Seoul National University) ;
  • Yeon, Young Joo (The Institute of Molecular Biology and Genetics, Seoul National University) ;
  • Yoo, Young Je (Graduate Program of Bioengineering, Seoul National University)
  • Received : 2015.09.03
  • Accepted : 2015.10.26
  • Published : 2016.03.31


To generate a biobetter that has improved therapeutic activity, we constructed scFv libraries via random mutagenesis of several residues of CDR-H3 and -L3 of hu4D5. The scFv clones were isolated from the phage display libraries by stringent panning, and their antiproliferative activity against HER2-positive cancer cells was evaluated as a primary selection criterion. Consequently, we selected AH06 as a biobetter antibody that had a 7.2-fold increase in anti-proliferative activity ($IC_{50}$: 0.81 nM) against the gastric cancer cell line NCI-N87 and a 7.4-fold increase in binding affinity ($K_D$: 60 pM) to HER2 compared to hu4D5. The binding energy calculation and molecular modeling suggest that the substitution of residues of CDR-H3 to W98, F100c, A101 and L102 could stabilize binding of the antibody to HER2 and there could be direct hydrophobic interactions between the aromatic ring of W98 and the aliphatic group of I613 within HER2 domain IV as well as the heavy and light chain hydrophobic interactions by residues F100c, A101 and L102 of CDR-H3. Therefore, we speculate that two such interactions were exerted by the residues W98 and F100c. A101 and L102 may have a synergistic effect on the increase in the binding affinity to HER2. AH06 specifically binds to domain IV of HER2, and it decreased the phosphorylation level of HER2 and AKT. Above all, it highly increased the overall level of p27 compared to hu4D5 in the gastric cancer cell line NCIN82, suggesting that AH06 could potentially be a more efficient therapeutic agent than hu4D5.


Supported by : Ministry of Trade, Industry & Energy Knowledge Economy (MOTIE)


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