Effect of a single amino acid mutation on the activating and immunosuppressive properties of a 'humanized' OKT3 monoclonal antibody

M. L. Alegre, A. M. Collins, V. L. Pulito, R. A. Brosius, W. C. Olson, R. A. Zivin, R. Knowles, J. R. Thistlethwaite, L. K. Jolliffe, J. A. Bluestone

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96 Scopus citations


The binding specificity of the murine OKT3 has been transferred into a human antibody framework to reduce its immunogenicity. This "humanized" anti-CD3 mAb (gOKT3-5) was previously shown to retain, in vitro, all the properties of native OKT3, including T cell activation, which has been correlated, in vivo, with the severe side effects observed in transplant recipients after the first administration of the mAb. T cell activation is thought to be triggered by the cross-linking mediated by the antibodies between T cells and Fc receptor-bearing cells. In this study, we introduced a single amino acid mutation from a leucine to a glutamic acid at position 235 in the Fc receptor binding segment of the gOKT3-5 mAb to produce Glu-235 mAb. This mutation generated a 100-fold decrease in the affinity of the antibody for the Fc receptor on U937 cells, without affecting Ag binding. In parallel, we observed a marked reduction in the T cell activation triggered by the mAb (proliferation, cell surface expression of early activation markers including Leu 23 and IL-2R, and release of TNF-α, IFN-γ, and granulocyte macrophage-CSF). In contrast, the mutated mAb retained suppressive properties similar to the gOKT3-5 mAb, as assessed by significant modulation of the T cell receptor complex and suppression of Ag-specific CTL activity. We conclude that this anti-CD3 mAb bearing a single amino acid mutation in its Fc portion retains important immununosuppressive properties, while exhibiting significantly less T cell activation than OKT3 in vitro. This drug might achieve potent immunosuppression while minimizing acute toxicity in vivo and thus be useful in transplantation as well as in autoimmune diseases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3461-3468
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Immunology
Issue number11
StatePublished - Jan 1 1992

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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