Multifunctionalization of cetuximab with bioorthogonal chemistries and parallel EGFR profiling of cell-lines using imaging, FACS and immunoprecipitation approaches
Biochim Biophys Acta
The ability to derivatize antibodies is currently limited by the chemical structure of antibodies as polypeptides. Modern methods of bioorthogonal and biocompatible chemical modifications could make antibody functionalization more predictable and easier, without compromising the functions of the antibody. To explore this concept, we modified the well-known anti-epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) drug, cetuximab (Erbitux(R)), with 5-azido-2-nitro-benzoyl (ANB) modifications by optimization of an acylation protocol. We then show that the resulting ANB-cetuximab can be reliably modified with dyes (TAMRA and carboxyrhodamine) or a novel synthesized cyclooctyne modified biotin. The resulting dye- and biotin-modified cetuximabs were then tested across several assay platforms with several cell lines including U87, LN229, F98EGFR, F98WT and HEK293 cells. The assay platforms included fluorescence microscopy, FACS and biotin-avidin based immunoprecipitation methods. The modified antibody performs consistently in all of these assay platforms, reliably determining relative abundances of EGFR expression on EGFR expressing cells (LN229 and F98EGFR) and failing to cross react with weak to negative EGFR expressing cells (U87, F98WT and HEK293). The ease of achieving diverse and assay relevant functionalizations as well as the consequent rapid construction of highly correlated antigen expression data sets highlights the power of bioorthogonal and biocompatible methods to conjugate macromolecules. These data provide a proof of concept for a multifunctionalization strategy that leverages the biochemical versatility and antigen specificity of antibodies.
School of Medicine