Utilizing Solid Phase Cloning, Surface Display And Epitope Information for Antibody Generation and Characterization

University dissertation from KTH Royal Institute of Technology

Abstract: Antibodies have become indispensable tools in diagnostics, research and as therapeutics. There are several strategies to generate monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) in order to avoid the drawbacks of polyclonal antibodies (pAbs) for therapeutic use. Moreover, the growing interest in precision medicine requires a well-characterized target and antibody to predict the responsiveness of a treatment. This thesis describes the use of epitope information and display technologies to generate and characterize antibodies. In Paper I, we evaluated if the epitope information of a well-characterized pAb could be used to generate mAbs with retained binding characteristics. In Paper II, the epitope on the complement protein C5 towards Eculizumab was mapped with surface display, the results of which explained the non-responsiveness of Eculizumab treatment among a patient group due to a mutated C5 gene. With this in mind, we showed efficacy in treatment of the mutated C5 variants using a drug binding to another site on C5, suggesting that our approach can be used to guide treatment in precision medicine. In Paper III, a Gram-positive bacterial display platform was evaluated to complement existing platforms for selection of human scFv libraries. When combined with phage display, a thorough library screening and isolation of nano-molar binders was possible. In Paper IV, a solid phase method for directed mutagenesis was developed to generate functional affinity maturation libraries by simultaneous targeting of all six CDRs. The method was also used to create numerous individual mutants to map the paratope of the parent scFv. The paratope information was used to create directed libraries and deep sequencing of the affinity maturation libraries confirmed the viability of the combination approach. Taken together, precise epitope/paratope information together with display technologies have the potential to generate attractive therapeutic antibodies and direct treatment in precision medicine.

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