The monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) 323/A3 and 17-1A both recognize a 40-kDa carcinoma-associated epithelial glycoprotein (EGP40). MAb 17-1A has been used in many therapeutic trials as an immunotherapeutic agent to combat advanced colorectal cancer, and about 5–10% overall responses have been observed. It has been shown that MAb 323/A3 has a higher affinity than 17-1A, which might be an advantageous feature for a therapeutic agent. In our immunohistological studies different reaction patterns of these two MAbs were observed, suggesting that MAb 323/A3 reacts more intensely with carcinoma cells than MAb 17-1A. This also suggests that MAb 323/A3 might be a more effective immunotherapeutic tool. Because chimerization may reduce the immunogenicity of the murine MAb 323/A3 and increase the interaction with human effector mechanisms, we developed a chimeric form of murine MAb 323/A3. MAb 323/A3 heavy and light chain variable genes were cloned and grafted onto human Cγ1 and Cκ domains, respectively. A chimeric antibody-producing cell line was established by transfection of the chimeric constructs into a nonproducing myeloma cell. The chimeric and murine 323/A3 MAbs were evaluated for efficacy of inducing complement-mediated cytotoxicity (CMC) and mediating antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity against LS 180 cells derived from human colon carcinoma. Both forms were found to mediate similar levels of CMC in the presence of human complement; however, higher levels of lysis of target cells were observed with human peripheral blood lymphocytes when the chimeric 323/A3 was used. Chimeric 323/A3 mediated higher maximal cytotoxicity than chimeric 17-1A in both CMC and antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity assays and was equally active as chimeric 17-1A at 100- to 1000-fold lower concentrations. The superior reactivity of chimeric 323/A3 with EGP40 on carcinoma cells and its higher cytotoxicity-mediating capacity, compared to chimeric 17-1A, are important characteristics, which support further clinical studies with chimeric MAb 323/A3 in immunotherapy of carcinomas.

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This research was supported by the Technology Foundation, the Netherlands.

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