Functionalization of bispecific therapeutic antibodies based on protein engineering

Ryutaro Asano, Izumi Kumagai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Although antibodies have been used as molecularly targeted agents for difficult-to-treat diseases such as cancers, the high production costs associated with mammalian expression systems continue to be a drawback. In addition, the clinical efficacy of conventional IgG antibodies is limited. Several types of recombinant antibody (e.g. fused with anticancer drugs, multivalent, or multispecific) have been designed in efforts to develop next-generation antibodies with higher functionality. We used protein engineering to construct several anticancer recombinant antibodies by developing bispecific antibodies that induced specific antitumor effects against cancer cells through the recruitment of lymphocytes. We found that a humanized small bispecific antibody (Ex3) that targets epidermal growth factor receptor on tumor cells and CD3 on T lymphocytes had marked anticancer activity. Furthermore, the function of Ex3 was enhanced by fusion with the human Fc region, domain rearrangement, multimerization, and affinity maturation; a combination of these modifications showed at least additive cytotoxic effects. Interestingly, merely rearranging the domain order of Ex3 induced substantial cytotoxic enhancements, even though the structural format remained the same. Here, we describe our efforts to develop highly functional bispecific antibodies as next-generation therapeutic antibodies using protein engineering.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)851-856
Number of pages6
JournalYakugaku Zasshi
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2015 Jul 1


  • Antibody engineering
  • Anticancer drug
  • Bispecific antibody
  • CD3
  • Epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmaceutical Science


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