Safety evaluation of a human chimeric monoclonal antibody that recognizes the extracellular loop domain of claudin-2

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Claudin-2 (CLDN-2), a pore-forming tight junction protein with a tetra-transmembrane domain, is involved in carcinogenesis and the metastasis of some cancers. Although CLDN-2 is highly expressed in the tight junctions of the liver and kidney, whether CLDN-2 is a safe target for cancer therapy remains unknown. We recently generated a rat monoclonal antibody (mAb, clone 1A2) that recognizes the extracellular domains of human and mouse CLDN-2. Here, we investigated the safety of CLDN-2-targeted cancer therapy by using 1A2 as a model therapeutic antibody. Because most human therapeutic mAbs are IgG1 subtype that can induce antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity, we generated a human–rat chimeric IgG1 form of 1A2 (xi-1A2). xi-1A2 activated Fcγ receptor IIIa in the presence of CLDN-2-expressing cells, indicating that xi-1A2 likely exerts antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity. At 24 h after its intravenous injection, xi-1A2 was distributed into the liver, kidney, and tumor tissues of mice bearing CLDN-2-expressing fibrosarcoma cells. Treatment of the xenografted mice with xi-1A2 attenuated tumor growth without apparent adverse effects, such as changes in body weight and biochemical markers of liver and kidney injury. These results support xi-1A2 as the lead candidate mAb for safe CLDN-2-targeted cancer therapy.

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