a Department of Therapeutic Discovery; Amgen ; Seattle , WA USA.
The underlying reasons for why some mAb (monoclonal antibody) clones are much more inclined to induce a Russell body (RB) phenotype during immunoglobulin biosynthesis remain elusive. Although RBs are morphologically understood as enlarged globular aggregates of immunoglobulins deposited in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER), little is known about the properties of the RB-inducing mAb clones as secretory cargo and their physical behaviors in the extracellular space. To elucidate how RB-inducing propensities, secretion outputs, and the intrinsic physicochemical properties of individual mAb clones are interrelated, we used HEK293 cells to study the biosynthesis of 5 human IgG mAbs for which prominent solution behavior problems were known a priori. All 5 model mAbs with inherently high condensation propensities induced RB phenotypes both at steady state and under ER-to-Golgi transport block, and resulted in low secretion titer. By contrast, one reference mAb that readily crystallized at neutral pH in vitro produced rod-shaped crystalline bodies in the ER without inducing RBs. Another reference mAb without notable solution behavior issues did not induce RBs and was secreted abundantly. Intrinsic physicochemical properties of individual IgG clones thus directly affected the biosynthetic steps in the ER, and thereby produced distinctive cellular phenotypes and influenced IgG secretion output. The findings implicated that RB formation represents a phase separation event or a loss of colloidal stability in the secretory pathway organelles. The process of RB induction allows the cell to preemptively reduce the extracellular concentration of potentially pathogenic, highly aggregation-prone IgG clones by selectively storing them in the ER.
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