Urokinase-type plasminogen activator (uPA) plays a central role in tissue remodeling processes, during both normal physiological conditions and cancer progression. Most of our understanding of the role of uPA in vivo is derived from studies using gene-targeted uPA-deficient mice. To enable in vivo studies on the acute and specific interference with uPA functionality in adult mice, we have now developed murine monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) directed against murine uPA by immunization of uPA-deficient mice with the recombinant protein. Guided by ELISA, Western blotting, SPR and enzyme kinetic analyses, we have selected two highly potent and inhibitory anti-uPA mAbs (mU1 and mU3). Both mAbs recognize epitopes located on the B-chain of uPA that encompasses the catalytic site. In activity assays in vitro, mU1 blocked uPA-catalyzed plasminogen activation as well as plasmin-mediated pro-uPA activation, whereas mU3 only was directed against the first of these reactions.

We provide evidence that acute disruption of uPA activity in the adult mouse was effective with mU1, but not mU3, because only mU1 rescued mice treated with a uPA-activable anthrax pro-toxin. Moreover, systemic administration of mU1 (i) delayed wound healing in tissue-type plasminogen activator (tPA)-deficient mice, and (ii) impaired uPA-mediated hepatic fibrinolysis in tPA-deficient mice, resulting in a phenotype mimicking that of uPA;tPA double-deficient mice. Importantly, these results demonstrate the specific antagonist-directed targeting of mouse uPA at the enzyme activity level in normal physiological processes in vivo. Preliminary results indicate that wild-type mice, which have been transplanted with murine Lewis lung carcinoma cells, display significant reduction in primary tumour growth, when treated with mU1 as compared to placebo-treated (i.e. PBS-treated) littermates. We thus suggest that mU1 is an excellent mAb candidate for therapeutic intervention studies in mouse cancer models.

Note: This abstract was not presented at the AACR 101st Annual Meeting 2010 because the presenter was unable to attend.

Citation Format: {Authors}. {Abstract title} [abstract]. In: Proceedings of the 101st Annual Meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research; 2010 Apr 17-21; Washington, DC. Philadelphia (PA): AACR; Cancer Res 2010;70(8 Suppl):Abstract nr 4401.