The purpose of the present study was to develop immunotoxins directed against human ovarian carcinoma cells. Four monoclonal antibodies (260F9, 454C11, 280D11, and 245E7) were chosen because they were found to bind to various ovarian carcinoma cell lines. These antibodies were covalently linked to either Pseudomonas exotoxin (PE) or ricin A chain (RTA), and the conjugates were tested against five ovarian cancer cell lines (OVCAR-2, -3, -4, -5; A1847). The ability of the immunotoxins to inhibit both protein synthesis and colony formation was evaluated. Qualitatively similar results were obtained for both types of assays. Usually, PE conjugates were more toxic than their corresponding RTA conjugates. 454C11-PE was very toxic for all ovarian carcinoma lines, whereas 454C11-RTA had low activity. Both 260F9-PE and 260F9-RTA were active in all OVCAR cell lines but not in A1847 cells. 280D11-PE was toxic for OVCAR-4; otherwise, 280D11-PE and RTA conjugates of both 280D11 and 245E7 had little activity. Specificity of immunotoxin action was shown by competition by excess antibody, nontoxicity in nontarget cells, and inactivity of an irrelevant immunotoxin. To investigate the basis of antibody-dependent differences in activity of the various immunotoxins, antibody uptake was studied in OVCAR-2 cells, and the results indicate that antibody internalization is one important factor in the activity of immunotoxins.
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