Human IgG is produced with C-terminal lysines that are cleaved off in circulation. The function of this modification was unknown and generally thought not to affect antibody function. We recently reported that efficient C1q binding and complement-dependent cytotoxicity (CDC) requires IgG hexamerization at the cell surface. Here we demonstrate that C-terminal lysines may interfere with this process, leading to suboptimal C1q binding and CDC of cells opsonized with C-terminal lysine-containing IgG. After we removed these lysines with a carboxypeptidase, maximal complement activation was observed. Interestingly, IgG1 mutants containing either a negative C-terminal charge or multiple positive charges lost CDC almost completely; however, CDC was fully restored by mixing C-terminal mutants of opposite charge. Our data indicate a novel post-translational control mechanism of human IgG: human IgG molecules are produced in a pro-form in which charged C-termini interfere with IgG hexamer formation, C1q binding and CDC. To allow maximal complement activation, C-terminal lysine processing is required to release the antibody's full cytotoxic potential.
Genmab 1 26037225
- complement activation herapeutic antibody post-translational control ADCC antibody-dependent cell-mediated cytotoxicity CDC complement-dependent cytotoxicity CEX cation-exchange cIEF capillary isoelectric focusing CPB carboxy peptidase B ESI-MS electrospray ionization mass spectrometry IEF isoelectric focusing SDS-PAGE sodium dodecyl sulfate polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis HUMAN MONOCLONAL-ANTIBODY MAMMALIAN-CELL CULTURE MASS-SPECTROMETRY IN-VIVO THERAPEUTIC ANTIBODIES CHARGE VARIANTS BINDING-SITE RECOMBINANT PROTEINS MOLECULE