Relationship between potential aggregation-prone regions and HLA-DR-binding T-cell immune epitopes: Implications for rational design of novel and follow-on therapeutic antibodies

Authors


Abstract

Aggregation and unwanted immunogenicity are hurdles to avoid in successful commercial development of antibody-based therapeutics. In this article, the relationship between aggregation-prone regions (APRs), capable of forming cross-β motifs/amyloid fibrils, and major histocompatibility complex class II-restricted human leukocyte antigen (HLA)-DR-binding T-cell immune epitopes (TcIEs) is analyzed using amino acid sequences of 25 therapeutic antibodies, 55 TcIEs recognized by T-regulatory cells (tregitopes), 1000 randomly generated 15-residue-long peptides, 2257 human self-TcIEs (autoantigens), and 11 peptides in HLA-peptide cocrystal structures. Sequence analyses from these diverse sources consistently show a high level of correlation between APRs and TcIEs: approximately one-third of TcIEs contain APRs, but the majority of APRs occur within TcIE regions (TcIERs). Tregitopes also contain APRs. Most APR-containing TcIERs can bind multiple HLA-DR alleles, suggesting that aggregation-driven adverse immune responses could impact a broad segment of patient population. This article has identified common molecular sequence—structure loci that potentially contribute toward both manufacturability and safety profiles of the therapeutic antibodies, thereby laying a foundation for simultaneous optimization of these attributes in novel and follow-on candidates. Incidence of APRs within TcIERs is not special to biotherapeutics, self-TcIEs from human proteins, involved in various diseases, also contain predicted APRs and experimentally proven amyloid-fibril-forming peptide sequence portions. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. and the American Pharmacists Association J Pharm Sci 101:2686–2701, 2012

Ancillary