Construction and Characterization of a CTLA-4-Targeted scFv–Melittin Fusion Protein as a Potential Immunosuppressive Agent for Organ Transplant
Recombinant human monoclonal antibodies against CD152 have been generated by selecting a synthetic phage scFv library with purified CD152-Ig fusion protein. Sixteen scFv fragments were isolated which specifically react with CD152 by enzyme-linked immunoabsorbent assay (ELISA) and Western blot resulting in their clustering into two groups recognizing different antigenic determinants. One group of scFvs (#3, #13, #40, #44, #47, #51, #57, #80 #83) recognized an epitope on CD152 dimer whereas another group (#15, #18, #31, #35, #54, #72, #81) recognized an epitope on both dimeric and monomeric CD152 molecule suggesting their possible use in understanding the subunit structure of CD152 which is still controversial. Sequencing of the VH genes revealed that all the scFvs belonged to the VH3 gene family but they were different in CDR3 length and composition. It was possible to correlate specific CDR3 sequences with reactivity of the two groups of scFvs. Four scFvs, #3, #40, #81 and #83, each representative of one specific CDR3, were selected for further analysis. Competition ELISA experiments showed that they recognize CD152 in its native configuration and bound to different epitopes from the CD80/CD86 interaction site. The scFvs were able to stain human T lymphocytes stimulated either with anti-CD3 and CD28 antibodies or PHA, PMA and ionomycin by cytofluorimetry suggesting that they can be useful reagents for monitoring the kinetics of surface-bound and intracellular CD152.