Molecular modification of a recombinant, bivalent anti-human CD3 immunotoxin (Bic3) results in reduced in vivo toxicity in mice

Daniel A. Vallera, Deborah Todhunter, David W. Kuroki, Yanqun Shu, Andy Sicheneder, Angela Panoskaltsis-Mortari, Vincent D. Vallera, Hua Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


A novel bivalent single chain fusion protein, Bic3, was assembled consisting of the catalytic and translocation domains of diphtheria toxin (DT390) fused to two repeating sFv molecules recognizing human CD3 epsilon of the human T-cell receptor. Historically, problems with these constructs include low yield, toxicity, and reduced efficacy. Instead of using conventional Gly4Ser linkers to connect heavy/light chains, aggregation reducing linkers (ARL) were used which when combined with a new SLS-based refolding method reduced aggregation and enhanced the yield of final product. Toxicity was reduced at least 25-fold by repeating the two sFv molecules and adding a portion of the hinge-CH2-CH3 human constant regions. The resulting Bic3 was just as cytotoxic to HPB-MLT.UM T leukemia cells in vitro (IC50 = 4 pmol) as a monovalent construct made with the same DT and sFv. In vivo, Bic3 was effective in a new and aggressive therapy model in which it significantly prolonged survival of scid mice with established human T-cell leukemia (p < 0.0001 compared to controls). Importantly, no toxicity measured by weight loss, enzyme function, or histology was observed at the highest dose of Bic3 tested (2000 ug/kg). Bic3 warrants investigation as a new drug for treating T-cell malignancy and other T-cell related disorders.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)331-341
Number of pages11
JournalLeukemia research
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2005

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported in part by the US Public Health Service Grants RO1-CA36725 awarded by the NCI and the NIAID, DHHS and Children's Cancer Research Fund.


  • Animal model
  • Anti-CD3 sFv
  • Anti-human T cell
  • Fusion protein
  • Human anti-cancer agent
  • Immunotoxin
  • Leukemia
  • diphtheria toxin


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