Chemoenzymatic glycoengineering of intact IgG antibodies for gain of functions

Wei Huang, John Giddens, Shu Quan Fan, Christian Toonstra, Lai Xi Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

251 Scopus citations


The fine structures of Fc N-glycans can modulate the effector functions of IgG antibodies. It has been demonstrated that lack of the core fucose on the Fc N-glycans leads to drastic enhancement of antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity (ADCC), while terminal α2,6-sialylation of Fc glycan plays a critical role for the anti-inflammatory activity of human intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG). We describe in this paper a highly efficient chemoenzymatic method for site-selective Fc glycoengineering of intact monoclonal antibody and IVIG. Two new glycosynthase mutants (EndoS-D233A and D233Q) were generated by site-directed mutagenesis of EndoS (an endoglycosidase from Streptococcus pyogenes) and were found to be capable of efficiently transferring predefined N-glycans from corresponding glycan oxazolines to the Fc-deglycosylated intact IgGs without product hydrolysis. As a model study, rituximab (a therapeutic monoclonal antibody) was successfully transformed from mixtures of G0F, G1F, and G2F glycoforms to well-defined homogeneous glycoforms, including a fully sialylated (S2G2F) glycoform that may gain anti-inflammatory activity, a nonfucosylated G2 glycoform that showed significantly enhanced FcγIIIa receptor-binding activity, and an azido-tagged glycoform that can be further transformed into other glycoforms. We also found that EndoS could selectively remove the Fc N-glycans in the presence of FAB glycosylation. This finding, coupled with the remarkable transglycosylation activity of the EndoS glycosynthase mutants, permitted a highly selective glycoengineering of the IVIG's Fc glycans into a fully sialylated Fc glycoform, which may possess significantly enhanced anti-inflammatory activity. The glycoengineering approach described here provides a general platform to modulate the effector functions of IgG antibodies, enabling the optimization of therapeutic efficacy and gain of new functions of monoclonal antibodies and IVIG.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)12308-12318
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of the American Chemical Society
Issue number29
StatePublished - Jul 25 2012
Externally publishedYes


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