Construction of a circularly connected VHH bispecific antibody (cyclobody) for the desirable positioning of antigen-binding sites.


Graduate School of Science and Engineering, Yamagata University, 4-3-16 Jyonan, Yonezawa, Yamagata, 992-8510, Japan. Electronic address: [Email]


A bispecific antibody (bsAb) is an emerging class of next-generation biological therapeutics. BsAbs are engineered antibodies possessing dual antigen-binding paratopes in one molecule. The circular backbone topology has never been demonstrated, although an enormous number of bispecific constructs have been proposed. The circular topology is potentially beneficial for fixing the orientation of two paratopes and protection from exopeptidase digestion. We construct herein a circularly connected bispecific VHH, termed cyclobody, using the split-intein circular ligation of peptides and proteins. The constructed cyclobodies are protected from proteolysis with a retained bispecificity. The anti-EGFR × anti-GFP cyclobody can specifically stain EGFR-positive cells with GFP. The anti-EGFR × anti-CD16 cyclobody shows cytotoxic activity against EGFR-positive cancer cells with comparative activity of a tandem VHH construct. Successful demonstration of a new topology for the bispecific antibody will expand the construction strategy for developing antibody-based drugs and reagents.


Backbone cyclization,Bispecific antibody,Intein,VHH,

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