3 years ago

Antibody drug conjugates and bystander killing: is antigen-dependent internalisation required?

Alexander H Staudacher, Michael P Brown


Antibody drug conjugates (ADCs) employ the exquisite specificity of tumour-specific monoclonal antibodies (mAb) for the targeted delivery of highly potent cytotoxic drugs to the tumour site. The chemistry of the linker, which connects the drug to the mAb, determines how and when the drug is released from the mAb. This, as well as the chemistry of the drug, can dictate whether the drug can diffuse into surrounding cells, resulting in ‘bystander killing’. Initially, any bystander killing mechanism of action of an ADC was understood to involve an essential sequence of steps beginning with surface antigen targeting, internalisation, intracellular linker cleavage, drug release, and diffusion of drug away from the targeted cell. However, recent studies indicate that, depending on the linker and drug combination, this mechanism may not be essential and ADCs can be cleaved extracellularly or via other mechanisms. In this minireview, we will examine the role of bystander killing by ADCs and explore the emerging evidence of how this can occur independently of internalisation.

Publisher URL: https://www.nature.com/articles/bjc2017367

DOI: 10.1038/bjc.2017.367

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