• Open Access

The idiotype (Id) cascade in mice elicited the production of anti-R24 Id and anti-anti-Id monoclonal antibodies with antitumor and protective activity against human melanoma


To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: jz.moraes@unifesp.br


Gangliosides have been considered as potential targets for immunotherapy because they are overexpressed on the surface of melanoma cells. However, immunization with purified gangliosides results in a very poor immune response, usually mediated by IgM antibodies. To overcome this limitation, we immunized mice with R24, a monoclonal antibody (mAb) that recognizes the most tumor-restricted ganglioside (GD3); our goal was to obtain anti-idiotype (Id) antibodies bearing the internal image of GD3. Animals produced anti-Id and anti-anti-Id antibodies. Both anti-Id and anti-anti-Id antibodies were able to inhibit mAb R24 binding to GD3. In addition, the anti-anti-Id antibodies were shown to recognize GD3 directly. Anti-Id and anti-anti-Id mAb were then selected from two fusion experiments for evaluation. The most interesting finding emerged from the characterization of the anti-anti-Id mAb 5.G8. It was shown to recognize two different GD3-expressing human melanoma cell lines in vitro and to mediate tumor cell cytotoxicity by complement activation and antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity. The biological activity of the anti-anti-Id mAb was also tested in a mouse tumor model, in which it was shown to be a powerful growth inhibitor of melanoma cells. Thus, activity of the anti-anti-Id mAb 5.G8 matched that of the prototypic anti-GD3 mAb R24 both in vitro and in vivo. Altogether, our results indicate that the idiotype approach might produce high affinity, specific and very efficient antitumor immune responses. (Cancer Sci 2011; 102: 64–70)