Indexed on: 25 Jan '11Published on: 25 Jan '11Published in: Molecular Immunology
IgG monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) consist of two Fab fragments and one Fc fragment. The Fab fragments contain the variable regions and are responsible for drug specificity (via antigen binding); the Fc fragment contains constant regions and is responsible for effector functions (via interactions with Fcγ receptors) and extended serum half-life (via interaction with the neonatal Fc receptor, FcRn). There are two conserved methionine (Met) residues located in the FcRn binding site of the Fc fragment. It has been shown previously that oxidation of these two Met residues decreases the binding affinity to FcRn. We have further evaluated the impact of Met oxidation on serum half-lives of two humanized IgG1 mAbs in transgenic mice with human FcRn. Variable oxidation levels were obtained by several procedures: exposure to an oxidizing agent, accumulation during extended refrigerated storage, or chromatographic separation. Our results show that Met oxidation can result in a significant reduction of the serum circulation half-life and the magnitude of the change correlates well with the extent of Met oxidation and changes in FcRn binding affinities. The relatively low levels of Met oxidation accumulated during 3 years of refrigerated storage had minimal impact on FcRn binding and no detectable impact on the serum half-life.