Novel method for differentiation between Trastuzumab and host adaptive response
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Humoral immune response to human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER-2/neu or ErbB-2) has been detected in sera of breast cancer patients and shown to be an appropriate prognostic marker (Taylor et al., 2007). However, since Trastuzumab (Herceptin) is a widely used monoclonal antibody as cancer therapy agent for tumors over-expressing HER-2, there is a need for an efficient way to detect host-generated antibodies against HER-2 without the confounding effect of Herceptin. Here we describe a screening method developed to decipher between host antibodies against HER-2 and that of Herceptin. By producing a series of truncation mutants within the epitope of Herceptin, we were able to inhibit this binding. We demonstrated also that by a three amino acid substitution (PPF→SSS) we were able to abrogate Herceptin binding while generating a highly conserved HER-2 extracellular domain (ECD). By producing a stable cell line that expresses this mutated form of the human HER-2 ECD, we have a source of this protein to probe patient sera. Our method represents a proof of principle that mutated HER-2 which we constructed could be used to distinguish between a host response against HER-2 and the monoclonal antibody Herceptin targeting the same protein.
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