Research Papers:

Development of novel monoclonal antibodies against CD109 overexpressed in human pancreatic cancer

Gustavo A. Arias-Pinilla, Angus G. Dalgleish, Satvinder Mudan, Izhar Bagwan, Anthony J. Walker and Helmout Modjtahedi _

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Oncotarget. 2018; 9:19994-20007. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.25017

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Gustavo A. Arias-Pinilla1, Angus G. Dalgleish2, Satvinder Mudan3, Izhar Bagwan4, Anthony J. Walker1 and Helmout Modjtahedi1

1School of Life Sciences, Pharmacy and Chemistry, Kingston University London, Kingston-upon-Thames, Surrey, UK

2Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine, St George’s University of London, London, UK

3Department of Surgery of Hammersmith Campus, Imperial College, London, UK

4Department of Histopathology, Royal Surrey County Hospital, Guildford, UK

Correspondence to:

Helmout Modjtahedi, email: [email protected]

Keywords: pancreatic cancer; monoclonal antibodies; CD109 antigen; tissue arrays; immunohistochemistry

Received: December 10, 2017     Accepted: March 15, 2018     Published: April 13, 2018


Pancreatic cancer is one of the most aggressive and lethal types of cancer, and more effective therapeutic agents are urgently needed. Overexpressed cell surface antigens are ideal targets for therapy with monoclonal antibody (mAb)-based drugs, but none have been approved for the treatment of pancreatic cancer. Here, we report development of two novel mouse mAbs, KU42.33C and KU43.13A, against the human pancreatic cancer cell line BxPC-3. Using ELISA, flow cytometry, competitive assay and immunoprecipitation followed by mass spectrometry, we discovered that these two mAbs target two distinct epitopes on the external domain of CD109 that are overexpressed by varying amounts in human pancreatic cancer cell lines. Treatment with these two naked antibodies alone did not affect tumour cell growth or migration in vitro. Of the two mAbs, only KU42.33C was useful in determining the expression of CD109 in tumour cells by Western blot and immunohistochemistry. Interestingly, immunohistochemistry of human pancreatic carcinoma tissue arrays with mAb KU42.33C showed that 94% of the 65 human pancreatic adenocarcinoma cases were CD109 positive, with no expression in normal pancreatic tissues. Our results suggest that these two novel mAbs are excellent tools for determining the expression level of CD109 in the tumour specimens and sera of patients with a wide range of cancers, in particular pancreatic cancer, and for investigating its diagnostic, prognostic and predictive value. Further research is warranted and should aim to unravel the therapeutic potential of the humanised forms or conjugated versions of such antibodies in patients whose tumours overexpress CD109 antigen.

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