A complement-optimized EGFR antibody improves cytotoxic functions of polymorphonuclear cells against tumor cells

Stefanie Derer*, Michael Cossham, Thies Rösner, Christian Kellner, Frank J. Beurskens, Ralf Schwanbeck, Stefan Lohse, Christian Sina, Matthias Peipp, Thomas Valerius

*Corresponding author for this work
8 Citations (Scopus)


Complement-dependent cytotoxicity (CDC) has been suggested to be an important mechanism of action of tumor-targeting Abs. However, single unmodified epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR)-targeting IgG1 Abs fail to trigger efficient CDC. For the current study, we generated a CDC-optimized variant of the EGFR Ab matuzumab (H425 wt) by introducing amino acid substitutions K326A/E333A (H425 mt). This Ab was then used to elucidate the impact of complement activation on the capacity of effector cells such as mononuclear cells (MNC) and polymorphonuclear cells (PMN) to exert Ab-dependent cell-mediated cytotoxicity (ADCC). H425 mt, but not H425 wt, significantly induced complement deposition, release of anaphylatoxins, and CDC against distinct tumor cell lines, whereas no differences in ADCC by MNC or PMN were detected. Notably, stronger cytotoxicity was induced by H425 mt than by H425 wt in whole blood assays and in experiments in which MNC or PMN were combined with serum. Although MNC-ADCC was not affected by C5 cleavage, the cytotoxic activity of PMN in the presence of serum strongly depended on C5 cleavage, pointing to a direct interaction between complement and PMN. Strong cell surface expression of C5a receptors was detected on PMN, whereas NK cells completely lacked expression. Stimulation of PMN with C5a led to upregulation of activated complement receptor 3, resulting in enhanced complement receptor 3-dependent PMN-ADCC against tumor cells. In conclusion, complement-optimized EGFR Abs may constitute a promising strategy to improve tumor cell killing by enhancing the interaction between humoral and cellular effector functions in Ab-based tumor therapy.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Immunology
Issue number10
Pages (from-to)5077-5087
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - 15.11.2015


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