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Engineering aggregation resistance in IgG by two independent mechanisms: lessons from comparison of Pichia pastoris and mammalian cell expression


Schaefer, Jonas V; Plückthun, Andreas (2012). Engineering aggregation resistance in IgG by two independent mechanisms: lessons from comparison of Pichia pastoris and mammalian cell expression. Journal of Molecular Biology, 417(4):309-335.

Abstract

Aggregation is an important concern for therapeutic antibodies, since it can lead to reduced bioactivity and increase the risk of immunogenicity. In our analysis of immunoglobulin G (IgG) molecules of identical amino acid sequence but produced either in mammalian cells (HEK293) or in the yeast Pichia pastoris (PP), dramatic differences in their aggregation susceptibilities were encountered. The antibodies produced in Pichia were much more resistant to aggregation under many conditions, a phenomenon found to be mainly caused by two factors. First, the mannose-rich glycan of the IgG from Pichia, while slightly thermally destabilizing the IgG, strongly inhibited its aggregation susceptibility, compared to the complex mammalian glycan. Second, on the Pichia-produced IgGs, amino acids belonging to the alpha-factor pre-pro sequence were left at the N-termini of both chains. These additional residues proved to considerably increase the temperature of the onset of aggregation and reduced the aggregate formation after extended incubation at elevated temperatures. The attachment of these residues to IgGs produced in cell culture confirmed their beneficial effect on the aggregation resistance. Secretion of IgGs with native N-termini in the yeast system became possible after systematic engineering of the precursor proteins and the processing site. Taken together, the present results will be useful for the successful production of full-length IgGs in Pichia, give indications on how to engineer aggregation-resistant IgGs and shed new light on potential biophysical effects of tag sequences in general.

Aggregation is an important concern for therapeutic antibodies, since it can lead to reduced bioactivity and increase the risk of immunogenicity. In our analysis of immunoglobulin G (IgG) molecules of identical amino acid sequence but produced either in mammalian cells (HEK293) or in the yeast Pichia pastoris (PP), dramatic differences in their aggregation susceptibilities were encountered. The antibodies produced in Pichia were much more resistant to aggregation under many conditions, a phenomenon found to be mainly caused by two factors. First, the mannose-rich glycan of the IgG from Pichia, while slightly thermally destabilizing the IgG, strongly inhibited its aggregation susceptibility, compared to the complex mammalian glycan. Second, on the Pichia-produced IgGs, amino acids belonging to the alpha-factor pre-pro sequence were left at the N-termini of both chains. These additional residues proved to considerably increase the temperature of the onset of aggregation and reduced the aggregate formation after extended incubation at elevated temperatures. The attachment of these residues to IgGs produced in cell culture confirmed their beneficial effect on the aggregation resistance. Secretion of IgGs with native N-termini in the yeast system became possible after systematic engineering of the precursor proteins and the processing site. Taken together, the present results will be useful for the successful production of full-length IgGs in Pichia, give indications on how to engineer aggregation-resistant IgGs and shed new light on potential biophysical effects of tag sequences in general.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Biochemistry
07 Faculty of Science > Department of Biochemistry
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
Language:English
Date:2012
Deposited On:11 Oct 2012 09:11
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 15:59
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:0022-2836
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jmb.2012.01.027
PubMed ID:22306407
Permanent URL: https://doi.org/10.5167/uzh-65165

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