• 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; et al. (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.
    • The Shark Strikes Twice: Hypervariable Loop 2 of Shark IgNAR Antibody Variable Domains and Its Potential to Function as an Autonomous Paratope.

      Zielonka, Stefan; Empting, Martin; Könning, Doreen; Grzeschik, Julius; Krah, Simon; Becker, Stefan; Dickgießer, Stephan; Kolmar, Harald; 2Helmholtz-Institute for Pharmaceutical Research Saarland, Saarland University, Campus C2.3, 66123 Saarbrücken, Germany. (2015-08)
      In this present study, we engineered hypervariable loop 2 (HV2) of the IgNAR variable domain in a way that it solely facilitates antigen binding, potentially functioning as an autonomous paratope. For this, the surface-exposed loop corresponding to HV2 was diversified and antigen-specific variable domain of IgNAR antibody (vNAR) molecules were isolated by library screening using yeast surface display (YSD) as platform technology. An epithelial cell adhesion molecule (EpCAM)-specific vNAR was used as starting material, and nine residues in HV2 were randomized. Target-specific clones comprising a new HV2-mediated paratope were isolated against cluster of differentiation 3ε (CD3ε) and human Fcγ while retaining high affinity for EpCAM. Essentially, we demonstrate that a new paratope comprising moderate affinities against a given target molecule can be engineered into the vNAR scaffold that acts independent of the original antigen-binding site, composed of complementarity-determining region 3 (CDR3) and CDR1.
    • Single-domain antibodies for biomedical applications.

      Krah, Simon; Schröter, Christian; Zielonka, Stefan; Empting, Martin; Valldorf, Bernhard; Kolmar, Harald; Helmholtz-Institute for Pharmaceutical Research Saarland (HIPS), Saarland University, Campus C2.3, D-66123 Saarbrücken, Germany. (2016-02)
      Single-domain antibodies are the smallest antigen-binding units of antibodies, consisting either only of one variable domain or one engineered constant domain that solely facilitates target binding. This class of antibody derivatives comprises naturally occurring variable domains derived from camelids and sharks as well as engineered human variable or constant antibody domains of the heavy or light chain. Because of their high affinity and specificity as well as stability, small size and benefit of multiple re-formatting opportunities, those molecules emerged as promising candidates for biomedical applications and some of these entities have already proven to be successful in clinical development.