Comparison of two anti-Thy 1.1-abrin A-chain immunotoxins prepared with different cross-linking agents: Antitumor effects, in vivo fate, and tumor cell mutants

P. E. Thorpe, D. C. Blakey, A. N F Brown, P. P. Knowles, R. E. Knyba, P. M. Wallace, G. J. Watson, E. J. Wawrzynczak

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

52 Scopus citations

Abstract

The A-chain of the plant toxin abrin was covalently linked to monoclonal anti-Thy 1.1 antibody (OX7) with the use of either N-succinimidyl-3-(2-pyridyldithio)propionate (SPDP) or 2-iminothiolane hydrochloride (2IT). The SPDP reagent generates a linkage containing a disulfide bond and an amide bond, whereas the 2IT reagent generates a linkage containing a disulfide bond and an amidinium bond. The two immunotoxins were powerfully and specifically toxic to Thy 1.1-expressing murine AKR-A lymphoma cells in vitro. Both reduced the rate of protein synthesis of the cells by 50% at a concentration of 10-11 M. However, clonogenic assays revealed that about 1% of the AKR-A cells survived treatment with high concentrations of OX7-SPDP-abrin A, whereas only about 0.1% survived treatment with similar concentrations of OX7-2IT-abrin A. Several clones of the surviving cells were isolated. Of 11 clones of cells that had survived exposure to OX7-SPDP-abrin A, 10 were resistant to further treatment with OX7-SPDP-abrin A but had normal sensitivity to OX7-2IT-abrin A. These clones expressed moderate to high levels of the Thy 1.1 antigen and were fully sensitive to abrin. In contrast, all 10 clones of cells that had survived exposure to OX7-2IT-abrin A were substantially or entirely resistant to both immunotoxins. They expressed low to high levels of the Thy 1.1 antigen and were fully sensitive to abrin. The 2IT-linked immunotoxin was much more effective than the SPDP-linked immunotoxin at protecting nu/nu mice against the growth of AKR-A lymphoma cells in the peritoneal site. A single iv injection of 0.3 nmol OX7-2IT-abrin A eradicated at least 99.99% of the tumor cells, as judged from the extension in the median survival time of the animals, whereas OX7-SPDP-abrin A eradicated only about 99% of the cells. The tumors that developed in the animals that received OX7-2IT-abrin A were Thy 1.1-negative, whereas those in the recipients of OX7-SPDP-abrin A generally expressed normal levels of the Thy 1.1 antigen. The difference in antitumor activity of the immunotoxins was not due to differences in their in vivo fate, inasmuch as they were cleared from the bloodstream at an identical rate and broke down at the same rate to release free antibody. In conclusion, the inferior antitumor activity of OX7-SPDP-abrin A, as compared to the antitumor activity of OX7-2IT-abrin A, appears to be because the AKR-A tumor line contains a subpopulation of variant cells that is insensitive to the SPDP-linked immunotoxin but sensitive to the 2IT-linked immunotoxin.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationJournal of the National Cancer Institute
Pages1101-1112
Number of pages12
Volume79
Edition5
StatePublished - 1987

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology

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