Recent Submissions

  • Inhibitors of 17β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 1, 2 and 14: Structures, biological activities and future challenges.

    Salah, Mohamed; Abdelsamie, Ahmed S; Frotscher, Martin; HIPS, Helmholtz-Institut füt Pharmazeutische Forschung Saarland, Universitätscampus E8.1 66123 Saarbrücken, Germany. (2018-10-15)
    During the past 25 years, the modulation of estrogen action by inhibition of 17β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase types 1 and 2 (17β-HSD1 and 17β-HSD2), respectively, has been pursued intensively. In the search for novel treatment options for estrogen-dependent diseases (EDD) and in order to explore estrogenic signaling pathways, a large number of steroidal and nonsteroidal inhibitors of these enzymes has been described in the literature. The present review gives a survey on the development of inhibitor classes as well as the structural formulas and biological properties of their most interesting representatives. In addition, rationally designed dual inhibitors of both 17β-HSD1 and steroid sulfatase (STS) as well as the first inhibitors of 17β-HSD14 are covered.
  • Exploration of ligand binding modes towards the identification of compounds targeting HuR: a combined STD-NMR and Molecular Modelling approach.

    Vasile, Francesca; Della Volpe, Serena; Ambrosio, Francesca Alessandra; Costa, Giosuè; Unver, M Yagiz; Zucal, Chiara; Rossi, Daniela; Martino, Emanuela; Provenzani, Alessandro; Hirsch, Anna K H; Alcaro, Stefano; Potenza, Donatella; Collina, Simona; HIPS, Helmholtz-Institut füt Pharmazeutische Forschung Saarland, Universitätscampus E8.1 66123 Saarbrücken, Germany. (2018-09-13)
    Post-transcriptional processes have been recognised as pivotal in the control of gene expression, and impairments in RNA processing are reported in several pathologies (i.e., cancer and neurodegeneration). Focusing on RNA-binding proteins (RBPs), the involvement of Embryonic Lethal Abnormal Vision (ELAV) or Hu proteins and their complexes with target mRNAs in the aetiology of various dysfunctions, has suggested the great potential of compounds able to interfere with the complex stability as an innovative pharmacological strategy for the treatment of numerous diseases. Here, we present a rational follow-up investigation of the interaction between ELAV isoform HuR and structurally-related compounds (i.e., flavonoids and coumarins), naturally decorated with different functional groups, by means of STD-NMR and Molecular Modelling. Our results represent the foundation for the development of potent and selective ligands able to interfere with ELAV-RNA complexes.
  • Pathoblockers or antivirulence drugs as a new option for the treatment of bacterial infections

    Calvert, Matthew B; Jumde, Varsha R; Titz, Alexander
    The rapid development of antimicrobial resistance is threatening mankind to such an extent that the World Health Organization expects more deaths from infections than from cancer in 2050 if current trends continue. To avoid this scenario, new classes of anti-infectives must urgently be developed. Antibiotics with new modes of action are needed, but other concepts are also currently being pursued. Targeting bacterial virulence as a means of blocking pathogenicity is a promising new strategy for disarming pathogens. Furthermore, it is believed that this new approach is less susceptible towards resistance development. In this review, recent examples of anti-infective compounds acting on several types of bacterial targets, e.g., adhesins, toxins and bacterial communication, are described.
  • Biophysical Screening of a Focused Library for the Discovery of CYP121 Inhibitors as Novel Antimycobacterials.

    Brengel, Christian; Thomann, Andreas; Schifrin, Alexander; Allegretta, Giuseppe; Kamal, Ahmed A M; Haupenthal, Jörg; Schnorr, Isabell; Cho, Sang Hyun; Franzblau, Scott G; Empting, Martin; Eberhard, Jens; Hartmann, Rolf W; HIPS, Helmholtz-Institut für pharmazeutische Forschung Saarland, Universitätscampus 8.1, 66123 Saarbrücken, Germany. (2017-10-09)
    The development of novel antimycobacterial agents against Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) is urgently required due to the appearance of multidrug resistance (MDR) combined with complicated long-term treatment. CYP121 was shown to be a promising novel target for inhibition of mycobacterial growth. In this study, we describe the rational discovery of new CYP121 inhibitors by a systematic screening based on biophysical and microbiological methods. The best hits originating from only one structural class gave initial information about molecular motifs required for binding and activity. The initial screening procedure was followed by mode-of-action studies and further biological characterizations. The results demonstrate superior antimycobacterial efficacy and a decreased toxicity profile of our frontrunner compound relative to the reference compound econazole. Due to its low molecular weight, promising biological profile, and physicochemical properties, this compound is an excellent starting point for further rational optimization.
  • Delivery system for budesonide based on lipid-DNA.

    Liu, Yun; Bos, I Sophie T; Oenema, Tjitske A; Meurs, Herman; Maarsingh, Harm; Hirsch, Anna K H; HIPS, Helmholtz-Institut für pharmazeutische Forschung Saarland, Universitätscampus 8.1, 66123 Saarbrücken, Germany. (2018-09-01)
    Budesonide is a hydrophobic glucocorticoid with high anti-inflammatory activity for the treatment of asthma, inflammatory bowel disease and rheumatoid arthritis. A micellar drug-delivery system based on lipid-DNA may provide a strategy to maximize its drug efficacy and reduce adverse effects. In this work, we report the use of lipid-DNAA (UU11mer), featuring two hydrophobic alkyl chains and forming micelles at a comparatively low critical micelle concentration, to render budesonide water-soluble with a high loading capacity (LC). The inhibition of interleukin-8 (IL-8) release shows that the new delivery system retains the inhibitory activity in cell-based assays. In conclusion, this research provides a novel approach to formulate and administer budesonide in a non-invasive manner, which dramatically improves its water-solubility while retaining its bioavailability.
  • Extracellular vesicles protect glucuronidase model enzymes during freeze-drying.

    Frank, Julia; Richter, Maximilian; de Rossi, Chiara; Lehr, Claus-Michael; Fuhrmann, Kathrin; Fuhrmann, Gregor; HIPS, Helmholtz-Institut für pharmazeutische Forschung Saarland, Universitätscampus 8.1, 66123 Saarbrücken, Germany. (2018-08-17)
    Extracellular vesicles (EVs) are natural nanoparticles that play important roles in intercellular communication and are increasingly studied for biosignalling, pathogenesis and therapy. Nevertheless, little is known about optimal conditions for their transfer and storage, and the potential impact on preserving EV-loaded cargoes. We present the first comprehensive stability assessment of different widely available types of EVs during various storage conditions including -80 °C, 4 °C, room temperature, and freeze-drying (lyophilisation). Lyophilisation of EVs would allow easy handling at room temperature and thus significantly enhance their expanded investigation. A model enzyme, β-glucuronidase, was loaded into different types of EVs derived from mesenchymal stem cells, endothelial cells and cancer cells. Using asymmetric flow field-flow fractionation we proved that the model enzyme is indeed stably encapsulated into EVs. When assessing enzyme activity as indicator for EV stability, and in comparison to liposomes, we show that EVs are intrinsically stable during lyophilisation, an effect further enhanced by cryoprotectants. Our findings provide new insight for exploring lyophilisation as a novel storage modality and we create an important basis for standardised and advanced EV applications in biomedical research.
  • Lipid-DNAs as Solubilizers of mTHPC.

    Liu, Yun; de Vries, Jan Willem; Liu, Qing; Hartman, Alwin M; Wieland, Gerhard D; Wieczorek, Sebastian; Börner, Hans G; Wiehe, Arno; Buhler, Eric; Stuart, Marc C A; Browne, Wesley R; Herrmann, Andreas; Hirsch, Anna K H; HIPS, Helmholtz-Institut für pharmazeutische Forschung Saarland, Universitätscampus 8.1, 66123 Saarbrücken, Germany. (2018-01-19)
    Hydrophobic drug candidates require innovative formulation agents. We designed and synthesized lipid-DNA polymers containing varying numbers of hydrophobic alkyl chains. The hydrophobicity of these amphiphiles is easily tunable by introducing a defined number of alkyl chain-modified nucleotides during standard solid-phase synthesis of DNA using an automated DNA synthesizer. We observed that the resulting self-assembled micelles solubilize the poorly water-soluble drug, meta-tetra-hydroxyphenyl-chlorin (mTHPC) used in photodynamic therapy (PDT) with high loading concentrations and loading capacities. A cell viability study showed that mTHPC-loaded micelles exhibit good biocompatibility without irradiation, and high PDT efficacy upon irradiation. Lipid-DNAs provide a novel class of drug-delivery vehicle, and hybridization of DNA offers a potentially facile route for further functionalization of the drug-delivery system with, for instance, targeting or imaging moieties.
  • Efficient Two Step β-Glycoside Synthesis from -Acetyl -Glucosamine: Scope and Limitations of Copper(II) Triflate-Catalyzed Glycosylation

    Sommer, Roman; Hauck, Dirk; Titz, Alexander; HIPS, Helmholtz-Institute für pharmazeutische Forschung Saarland, Universitätscampus E8.1, 66123 Saarbrücken, Germany.
    β‐Linked glycosides of N‐acetyl glucosamine are widespread in nature. Their direct synthesis is hampered by the low reactivity of GlcNAc as a glycosyl donor. We report a selective and rapid copper(II) triflate‐catalyzed two‐step synthesis of β‐glycosides of GlcNAc from cheap GlcNAc as starting material without purification of intermediates. α‐Specific glycosylation can be achieved by increasing the amount of catalyst and extending reaction times.
  • Dynamic Proteoids Generated From Dipeptide-Based Monomers.

    Liu, Yun; Stuart, Marc C A; Buhler, Eric; Hirsch, Anna K H; HIPS, Helmholtz-Institut für pharmazeutische Forschung Saarland, Universitätscampus 8.1, 66123 Saarbrücken, Germany. (2018-05-28)
    Dynamic proteoids are dynamic covalent analogues of proteins which are generated through the reversible polymerization of amino-acid- or peptide-derived monomers. The authors design and prepare a series of dynamic proteoids based on the reversible polycondensation of six types of dipeptide hydrazides bearing different categories of side chains. The polymerization and structures of biodynamers generated by
  • Crystal Structures of Fungal Tectonin in Complex with O-Methylated Glycans Suggest Key Role in Innate Immune Defense.

    Sommer, Roman; Makshakova, Olga N; Wohlschlager, Therese; Hutin, Stephanie; Marsh, May; Titz, Alexander; Künzler, Markus; Varrot, Annabelle; HIPS, Helmholtz-Institut für pharmazeutische Forschung Saarland, Universitätscampus 8.1, 66123 Saarbrücken, Germany. (2018-03-06)
    Innate immunity is the first line of defense against pathogens and predators. To initiate a response, it relies on the detection of invaders, where lectin-carbohydrate interactions play a major role. O-Methylated glycans were previously identified as non-self epitopes and conserved targets for defense effector proteins belonging to the tectonin superfamily. Here, we present two crystal structures of Tectonin 2 from the mushroom Laccaria bicolor in complex with methylated ligands, unraveling the molecular basis for this original specificity. Furthermore, they revealed the formation of a ball-shaped tetramer with 24 binding sites distributed at its surface, resembling a small virus capsid. Based on the crystal structures, a methylation recognition motif was identified and found in the sequence of many tectonins from bacteria to human. Our results support a key role of tectonins in innate defense based on a distinctive and conserved type of lectin-glycan interaction.
  • The interferon-stimulated gene product oligoadenylate synthetase-like protein enhances replication of Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV) and interacts with the KSHV ORF20 protein.

    Bussey, Kendra A; Lau, Ulrike; Schumann, Sophie; Gallo, Antonio; Osbelt, Lisa; Stempel, Markus; Arnold, Christine; Wissing, Josef; Gad, Hans Henrik; Hartmann, Rune; Brune, Wolfram; Jänsch, Lothar; Whitehouse, Adrian; Brinkmann, Melanie M; Helmholtz-Zentrum für Infektionsforschung GmbH, Inhoffenstr. 7, 38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (2018-03)
    Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV) is one of the few oncogenic human viruses known to date. Its large genome encodes more than 85 proteins and includes both unique viral proteins as well as proteins conserved amongst herpesviruses. KSHV ORF20 is a member of the herpesviral core UL24 family, but the function of ORF20 and its role in the viral life cycle is not well understood. ORF20 encodes three largely uncharacterized isoforms, which we found were localized predominantly in the nuclei and nucleoli. Quantitative affinity purification coupled to mass spectrometry (q-AP-MS) identified numerous specific interacting partners of ORF20, including ribosomal proteins and the interferon-stimulated gene product (ISG) oligoadenylate synthetase-like protein (OASL). Both endogenous and transiently transfected OASL co-immunoprecipitated with ORF20, and this interaction was conserved among all ORF20 isoforms and multiple ORF20 homologs of the UL24 family in other herpesviruses. Characterization of OASL interacting partners by q-AP-MS identified a very similar interactome to that of ORF20. Both ORF20 and OASL copurified with 40S and 60S ribosomal subunits, and when they were co-expressed, they associated with polysomes. Although ORF20 did not have a global effect on translation, ORF20 enhanced RIG-I induced expression of endogenous OASL in an IRF3-dependent but IFNAR-independent manner. OASL has been characterized as an ISG with antiviral activity against some viruses, but its role for gammaherpesviruses was unknown. We show that OASL and ORF20 mRNA expression were induced early after reactivation of latently infected HuARLT-rKSHV.219 cells. Intriguingly, we found that OASL enhanced infection of KSHV. During infection with a KSHV ORF20stop mutant, however, OASL-dependent enhancement of infectivity was lost. Our data have characterized the interaction of ORF20 with OASL and suggest ORF20 usurps the function of OASL to benefit KSHV infection.
  • N-Acetylmuramic Acid (MurNAc) Auxotrophy of the Oral PathogenTannerella forsythia: Characterization of a MurNAc Kinase and Analysis of Its Role in Cell Wall Metabolism.

    Hottmann, Isabel; Mayer, Valentina M T; Tomek, Markus B; Friedrich, Valentin; Calvert, Matthew B; Titz, Alexander; Schäffer, Christina; Mayer, Christoph; HIPS, Helmholtz-Institut für pharmazeutische Forschung Saarland, Universitätscampus 8.1, 66123 Saarbrücken, Germany. (2018)
    Tannerella forsythia is an anaerobic, Gram-negative oral pathogen that thrives in multispecies gingival biofilms associated with periodontitis. The bacterium is auxotrophic for the commonly essential bacterial cell wall sugarN-acetylmuramic acid (MurNAc) and, thus, strictly depends on an exogenous supply of MurNAc for growth and maintenance of cell morphology. A MurNAc transporter (Tf_MurT; Tanf_08375) and an ortholog of theEscherichia colietherase MurQ (Tf_MurQ; Tanf_08385) converting MurNAc-6-phosphate to GlcNAc-6-phosphate were recently described forT. forsythia.In between the respective genes on theT. forsythiagenome, a putative kinase gene is located. In this study, the putative kinase (Tf_MurK; Tanf_08380) was produced as a recombinant protein and biochemically characterized. Kinetic studies revealed Tf_MurK to be a 6-kinase with stringent substrate specificity for MurNAc exhibiting a 6 × 104-fold higher catalytic efficiency (kcat/Km) for MurNAc than forN-acetylglucosamine (GlcNAc) withkcatvalues of 10.5 s-1and 0.1 s-1andKmvalues of 200 μM and 116 mM, respectively. The enzyme kinetic data suggest that Tf_MurK is subject to substrate inhibition (Ki[S]= 4.2 mM). To assess the role of Tf_MurK in the cell wall metabolism ofT. forsythia, a kinase deletion mutant (ΔTf_murK::erm) was constructed. This mutant accumulated MurNAc intracellularly in the exponential phase, indicating the capability to take up MurNAc, but inability to catabolize MurNAc. In the stationary phase, the MurNAc level was reduced in the mutant, while the level of the peptidoglycan precursor UDP-MurNAc-pentapeptide was highly elevated. Further, according to scanning electron microscopy evidence, theΔTf_murK::ermmutant was more tolerant toward low MurNAc concentration in the medium (below 0.5 μg/ml) before transition from healthy, rod-shaped to fusiform cells occurred, while the parent strain required > 1 μg/ml MurNAc for optimal growth. These data reveal thatT. forsythiareadily catabolizes exogenous MurNAc but simultaneously channels a proportion of the sugar into peptidoglycan biosynthesis. Deletion ofTf_murKblocks MurNAc catabolism and allows the direction of MurNAc solely to peptidoglycan biosynthesis, resulting in a growth advantage in MurNAc-depleted medium. This work increases our understanding of theT. forsythiacell wall metabolism and may pave new routes for lead finding in the treatment of periodontitis.
  • An efficient synthesis of 1,6-anhydro- N -acetylmuramic acid from N -acetylglucosamine

    Calvert, Matthew B; Mayer, Christoph; Titz, Alexander; Helmholtz Institut für pharmazeutische Forschung Saarland, Universitätscampus E8.1, 66123 Saarbrücken, Germany. (2017-12-11)
  • Phage Display on the Anti-infective Target 1-Deoxy-d-xylulose-5-phosphate Synthase Leads to an Acceptor-Substrate Competitive Peptidic Inhibitor.

    Marcozzi, Alessio; Masini, Tiziana; Zhu, Di; Pesce, Diego; Illarionov, Boris; Fischer, Markus; Herrmann, Andreas; Hirsch, Anna Katharina Herta; HIPS, Helmholtz-Institut für pharmazeutische Forschung Saarland, Universitätscampus E8.1, 66123 Saarbrücken, Germany. (2018-01-04)
    Enzymes of the 2-C-methyl-d-erythritol-4-phosphate pathway for the biosynthesis of isoprenoid precursors are validated drug targets. By performing phage display on 1-deoxy-d-xylulose-5-phosphate synthase (DXS), which catalyzes the first step of this pathway, we discovered several peptide hits and recognized false-positive hits. The enriched peptide binder P12 emerged as a substrate (d-glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate)-competitive inhibitor of Deinococcus radiodurans DXS. The results indicate possible overlap of the cofactor- and acceptor-substrate-binding pockets and provide inspiration for the design of inhibitors of DXS with a unique and novel mechanism of inhibition.
  • Covalent Lectin Inhibition and Application in Bacterial Biofilm Imaging.

    Wagner, Stefanie; Hauck, Dirk; Hoffmann, Michael; Sommer, Roman; Joachim, Ines; Müller, Rolf; Imberty, Anne; Varrot, Annabelle; Titz, Alexander; HIPS, Helmholtz-Institut für pharmazeutische Forchung Saarland, Universitätscampus E8.1, 66123 Saarbrücken, Germany. (2017-09-28)
    Biofilm formation by pathogenic bacteria is a hallmark of chronic infections. In many cases, lectins play key roles in establishing biofilms. The pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa often exhibiting various drug resistances employs its lectins LecA and LecB as virulence factors and biofilm building blocks. Therefore, inhibition of the function of these proteins is thought to have potential in developing "pathoblockers" preventing biofilm formation and virulence. A covalent lectin inhibitor specific to a carbohydrate binding site is described for the first time. Its application in the LecA-specific in vitro imaging of biofilms formed by P. aeruginosa is also reported.
  • Dynamic Combinatorial Chemistry to Identify Binders of ThiT, an S-Component of the Energy-Coupling Factor Transporter for Thiamine.

    Monjas, Leticia; Swier, Lotteke J Y M; Setyawati, Inda; Slotboom, Dirk J; Hirsch, Anna K H; Helmholtz-Institut für pharmazeutische Forschung Saarland, Universitätscampus E9.1, 66123 Saarbrücken, Germany. (2017-10-20)
    We applied dynamic combinatorial chemistry (DCC) to identify ligands of ThiT, the S-component of the energy-coupling factor (ECF) transporter for thiamine in Lactococcus lactis. We used a pre-equilibrated dynamic combinatorial library (DCL) and saturation-transfer difference (STD) NMR spectroscopy to identify ligands of ThiT. This is the first report in which DCC is used for fragment growing to an ill-defined pocket, and one of the first reports for its application with an integral membrane protein as target.
  • Discovery of a Potent Inhibitor Class with High Selectivity toward Clostridial Collagenases.

    Schönauer, Esther; Kany, Andreas M; Haupenthal, Jörg; Hüsecken, Kristina; Hoppe, Isabel J; Voos, Katrin; Yahiaoui, Samir; Elsässer, Brigitta; Ducho, Christian; Brandstetter, Hans; Hartmann, Rolf W; Helmholtz-Institut für pharmazeutische Forschung Saarland, Universitätscampus E8.1, 66123 Saarbrücken, Germany. (2017-09-13)
    Secreted virulence factors like bacterial collagenases are conceptually attractive targets for fighting microbial infections. However, previous attempts to develop potent compounds against these metalloproteases failed to achieve selectivity against human matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs). Using a surface plasmon resonance-based screening complemented with enzyme inhibition assays, we discovered an N-aryl mercaptoacetamide-based inhibitor scaffold that showed sub-micromolar affinities toward collagenase H (ColH) from the human pathogen Clostridium histolyticum. Moreover, these inhibitors also efficiently blocked the homologous bacterial collagenases, ColG from C. histolyticum, ColT from C. tetani, and ColQ1 from the Bacillus cereus strain Q1, while showing negligible activity toward human MMPs-1, -2, -3, -7, -8, and -14. The most active compound displayed a more than 1000-fold selectivity over human MMPs. This selectivity can be rationalized by the crystal structure of ColH with this compound, revealing a distinct non-primed binding mode to the active site. The non-primed binding mode presented here paves the way for the development of selective broad-spectrum bacterial collagenase inhibitors with potential therapeutic application in humans.
  • Saccharide-Containing Dynamic Proteoids.

    Liu, Yun; Stuart, Marc C A; Witte, Martin D; Buhler, Eric; Hirsch, Anna K H; Helmholtz-Institute for Pharmaceutical Research Saarland (HIPS), Universitycampus E8.1, 66123 Saarbrücken, Germany. (2017-10-05)
    Dynamic proteoids are dynamic covalent analogues of proteins, which can be used as new adaptive biomaterials. We designed and synthesized a range of sugar-containing dynamic proteoid biodynamers based on the polycondensation of different types of amino acid and dipeptide hydrazides with a biological aliphatic dialdehyde and a nonbiological aromatic dialdehyde. By using the saccharide-based dialdehyde, the biocompatibility of biodynamers should be enhanced compared to previously reported biodynamers.
  • Photorhabdus luminescens lectin A (PllA) - a new probe for detecting α-galactoside-terminating glycoconjugates.

    Beshr, Ghamdan; Sikandar, Asfandyar; Jemiller, Eva-Maria; Klymiuk, Nikolai; Hauck, Dirk; Wagner, Stefanie; Wolf, Eckhard; Koehnke, Jesko; Titz, Alexander; Helmholtz-Institute for Pharmaceutical Research Saarland (HIPS), Universitycampus E8.1, 66123 Saarbrücken, Germany. (2017-09-28)
    Lectins play important roles in infections by pathogenic bacteria, for example, in host colonization, persistence and biofilm formation. The Gram-negative entomopathogenic bacterium Photorhabdus luminescens symbiotically lives in insect-infecting Heterorhabditis nematodes and kills the insect host upon invasion by the nematode. The P. luminescens genome harbors the gene plu2096 coding for a novel lectin that we named PllA. We analyzed the binding properties of purified PllA with a glycan array and a binding assay in solution. Both assays revealed a strict specificity of PllA for alpha-galactoside-terminating glycoconjugates. The crystal structures of apo PllA and complexes with three different ligands revealed the molecular basis for the strict specificity of this lectin. Furthermore, we found that a 90 degree twist in subunit orientation leads to a peculiar quaternary structure compared with that of its ortholog LecA from Pseudomonas aeruginosa. We also investigated the utility of PllA as a probe for detecting alpha-galactosides. The alpha-Gal epitope is present on wild-type pig cells and the main reason for hyperacute organ rejection in pig to primate xenotransplantation. We noted that PllA specifically recognizes this epitope on the glycan array and demonstrated that PllA can be used as a fluorescent probe to detect this epitope on primary porcine cells in vitro. In summary, our biochemical and structural analyses of the P. luminescens lectin PllA have disclosed the structural basis for PllAs high specificity for alpha-galactoside-containing ligands, and we show that PllA can be used to visualize alpha-Gal epitope on porcine tissues.
  • Semi-synthetic vNAR libraries screened against therapeutic antibodies primarily deliver anti-idiotypic binders.

    Könning, Doreen; Rhiel, Laura; Empting, Martin; Grzeschik, Julius; Sellmann, Carolin; Schröter, Christian; Zielonka, Stefan; Dickgießer, Stephan; Pirzer, Thomas; Yanakieva, Desislava; Becker, Stefan; Kolmar, Harald; Helmholtz-Institut für pharmazeutische Forschung Saarland, Universitätscampus E8.1, 66123 Saarbrücken, Germany. (2017-08-29)
    Anti-idiotypic binders which specifically recognize the variable region of monoclonal antibodies have proven to be robust tools for pharmacokinetic studies of antibody therapeutics and for the development of cancer vaccines. In the present investigation, we focused on the identification of anti-idiotypic, shark-derived IgNAR antibody variable domains (vNARs) targeting the therapeutic antibodies matuzumab and cetuximab for the purpose of developing specific capturing ligands. Using yeast surface display and semi-synthetic, CDR3-randomized libraries, we identified several highly specific binders targeting both therapeutic antibodies in their corresponding variable region, without applying any counter selections during screening. Importantly, anti-idiotypic vNAR binders were not cross-reactive towards cetuximab or matuzumab, respectively, and comprised good target recognition in the presence of human and mouse serum. When coupled to magnetic beads, anti-idiotypic vNAR variants could be used as efficient capturing tools. Moreover, a two-step procedure involving vNAR-functionalized beads was employed for the enrichment of potentially bispecific cetuximab × matuzumab antibody constructs. In conclusion, semi-synthetic and CDR3-randomized vNAR libraries in combination with yeast display enable the fast and facile identification of anti-idiotypic vNAR domains targeting monoclonal antibodies primarily in an anti-idiotypic manner.

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