Production of functionality enhanced monoclonal antibodies via gene therapy
Edwards, Aaron David
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While the last century of medical discoveries has made a significant impact on improving the lives of human populations across the globe, a perfect solution to the yearly infection cycle from the influenza virus has yet to be discovered. Although vaccines stand the best chance at targeting yearly epidemics, new treatment options must be created to combat the arrival of rapidly mutating and antiviral-resistant strains of the virus that could lead to another pandemic such as the 1918 Spanish flu that killed millions worldwide. We describe a method to create functionally enhanced monoclonal antibodies targeting influenza via genetic engineering of fragment crystallizable glycan structures. Muscle and liver cell lines were lentivirally-transduced to produce the broadly neutralizing antibody, Fi6v3, while also overexpressing a critical glycosylation enzyme, B-1,4-N-acetyl-glucosaminyltransferase III. Secreted antibodies were tested for effector functionality using a Natural Killer cell degranulation assay and an antibody-dependent cellular phagocytosis assay. Results conclude that modified antibodies from both muscle and liver cells lines exhibit enhanced function in comparison to their unmodified counterparts, providing support to the future creation of an influenza prophylactic or treatment option using antibodies with the ability to more effectively activate innate immune killing mechanisms.