Conceptual Approaches to Modulating Antibody Effector Functions and Circulation Half-Life.
Antibodies and Fc-fusion antibody-like proteins have become successful biologics developed for cancer treatment, passive immunity against infection, addiction, and autoimmune diseases. In general these biopharmaceuticals can be used for blocking protein:protein interactions, crosslinking host receptors to induce signaling, recruiting effector cells to targets, and fixing complement. With the vast capability of antibodies to affect infectious and genetic diseases much effort has been placed on improving and tailoring antibodies for specific functions. While antibody:antigen engagement is critical for an efficacious antibody biologic, equally as important are the hinge and constant domains of the heavy chain. It is the hinge and constant domains of the antibody that engage host receptors or complement protein to mediate a myriad of effector functions and regulate antibody circulation. Molecular and structural studies have provided insight into how the hinge and constant domains from antibodies across different species, isotypes, subclasses, and alleles are recognized by host cell receptors and complement protein C1q. The molecular details of these interactions have led to manipulation of the sequences and glycosylation of hinge and constant domains to enhance or reduce antibody effector functions and circulating half-life. This review will describe the concepts being applied to optimize the hinge and crystallizable fragment of antibodies, and it will detail how these interactions can be tuned up or down to mediate a biological function that confers a desired disease outcome.
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