Cutaneous T-cell lymphoma (CTCL) is a heterogeneous group of neoplastic disorders characterized by clonally derived and skin-homing malignant T cells that express high level of chemokine receptor CCR4, which is associated with their skin-homing capacity. CCR4 is also highly expressed on T-regulatory cells (Tregs) that can migrate to several different types of chemotactic ligand CCL17- and CCL22-secreting tumors to facilitate tumor cell evasion from immune surveillance. Thus, its high-level expression on CTCL cells and Tregs makes CCR4 a potential ideal target for antibody-based immunotherapy for CTCL and other types of solid tumors. Here, we conducted humanization and affinity optimization of a murine anti-CCR4 monoclonal antibody (mAb), mAb1567, that recognizes both the N-terminal and extracellular domains of CCR4 with high affinity and inhibits chemotaxis of CCR4+ CTCL cells. In a mouse CTCL tumor model, mAb1567 exhibited a potent antitumor effect and in vitro mechanistic studies showed that both complement-dependent cytotoxicity (CDC) and neutrophil-mediated antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity (ADCC) likely mediated this effect. mAb1567 also exerts human NK cell–mediated ADCC activity in vitro. Moreover, mAb1567 also effectively inhibits chemotaxis of CD4+CD25high Tregs via CCL22 and abrogates Treg suppression activity in vitro. An affinity-optimized variant of humanized mAb1567, mAb2-3, was selected for further preclinical development based on its higher binding affinity and more potent ADCC and CDC activities. Taken together, this high-affinity humanized mAb2-3 with potent antitumor effect and a broad range of mechanisms of action may provide a novel immunotherapy for CTCL and other solid tumors. Mol Cancer Ther; 11(11); 1–11. ©2012 AACR.
Note: Supplementary data for this article are available at Molecular Cancer Therapeutics Online (http://mct.aacrjournals.org/).
- Received March 19, 2012.
- Revision received July 30, 2012.
- Accepted July 30, 2012.
- ©2012 American Association for Cancer Research.