Murine monoclonal antibody Me1-14, which recognizes an epitope on chondroitin proteoglycan sulfate expressed in malignant glioma and melanoma, has been used for radioimmunolocalization and therapy both in animal models and in patients. Here, we report the generation, characterization, and in vivo biodistribution of mouse/human chimeric Me1-14. Rearranged immunoglobulin genes from the Me1-14 hybridoma were identified by Southern blot analysis. Putative rearranged light- and heavy-chain genes were cloned from Lambda-ZapII Me1-14 genomic libraries and sequenced for nucleotide analysis. One of the putative heavy-chain Eco RI fragments (3.5 kb) had all the features of an intact variable region, including a functional leader sequence, in-frame V-D and D-J junctions, and cysteines 22 and 92. The deduced amino acid sequence from the heavy-chain variable region gene showed considerable homology with the invariant protein sequence of the mouse heavy- chain subgroup IIIB. Like the heavy-chain gene, one of the putative rearranged κ-chain Hind III fragments (4 kb) had all of the characteristics of the functional variable region, and the deduced amino acid sequence showed homology to the invariant sequence of κ-chain group V. The variable region genes for heavy- and light-chains were linked to human constant region exons in the expression vectors at the unique sites and cotransfected into mouse SP2/0 cells. The production level of chimeric Me1-14 from ascites in the highest expressing transfectoma was 1.8 mg/ml. The chimeric Me1-14 antibody exhibited the same specificity and similar affinity as that of parent Me1- 14. Direct comparison of radioiodinated chimeric and murine Me1-14 in paired- label biodistribution analysis in subcutaneous xenograft-bearing mice showed higher tumor-to-normal organ ratios for chimeric Me1-14 IgG2, suggesting that this chimeric Me1-14 may be potentially useful in vivo for diagnostic and therapeutic purposes in patients.
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