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Keywords:

  • Intestinal transfer;
  • Recombinant antibodies;
  • FcRn;
  • IgG catabolism

Abstract

Site-directed mutagenesis of a recombinant Fc hinge fragment has recently been used to localize the site of the murine IgG1 molecule that is involved in the control of catabolism (the “catabolic site”). In the current study, the effects of these CH2 and CH3 domain mutations (Ile 253 to Ala 253, His 310 to Ala 310, Gln 311 to Asn 311, His 433 to Ala 433 and Asn 434 to G1n 434) on intestinal transfer of Fc hinge fragments in neonatal mice have been analyzed. Studies using direct transfer and competition assays demonstrate that the mutations affect the transmission from intestinal lumen into serum in a way that correlates closely with the effects of the mutations on pharmacokinetics. Binding studies of several of the Fc hinge fragments to isolated neonatal brush borders have been used to confirm the in vivo transmission data. These analyses have resulted in the localization of the binding site for the intestinal transfer receptor, FcRn, to specific residues of the murine Fc hinge fragment. These residues are located at the CH2-CH3 domain interface and overlap with both the catabolic site and staphylococcal protein A (SpA) binding site. The pH dependence of IgG1 or Fc fragment binding to FcRn is consistent with the localization of the FcRn interaction site to a region of the Fc that encompasses two histidine residues (His 310 and His 433). To assess whether one or two FcRn binding sites per Fc hinge are required for intestinal transfer, a hybrid Fc hinge fragment comprising a heterodimer of one Fc hinge with the wild-type IgG1 sequence and a mutant Fc hinge with a defective catabolic site (mutated at His 310, G1n 311, His 433 and Asn 434) has been analyzed in direct and competition transmission assays. The studies demonstrate that the Fc hybrid is transferred with significantly reduced efficiency compared to the wild type Fc hinge homodimer and indicate that the binding to FcRn, and possibly subsequent transfer, is enhanced by the presence of two FcRn binding sites per Fc hinge fragment.