HER2-specific recombinant immunotoxin 4D5scFv-PE40 passes through retrograde trafficking route and forces cells to enter apoptosis
Immunotoxin 4D5scFv-PE40 is a recombinant protein that comprises 4D5scFv antibody as a targeting module and fragment of Pseudomonas exotoxin A as an effector (toxic) one. The immunotoxin has shown pronounced antitumor effect on cancer cells overexpressing HER2 receptor in vitro and on HER2-positive experimental tumors in vivo. We clarified the mechanism of 4D5scFv-PE40 activity that is of particular importance in the case of targeted therapeutic agent aimed at personalizing treatment of disease in relation to molecular genetic characteristics of each patient. After specific binding to HER2 on the cell surface and clathrin-mediated endocytosis the immunotoxin passes through retrograde trafficking route. During this route the immunotoxin molecule is supposed to undergo enzymatic processing that ends in separation of C-terminal and N-terminal fragments of the immunotoxin. Finally, C-terminal functionally active fragment of 4D5scFv-PE40 arrests protein synthesis in cytoplasm followed by cell death via apoptosis.