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Single-chain variable fragment albumin fusions bind the neonatal Fc receptor (FcRn) in a species dependent manner: implications for in vivo half-life evaluation of albumin-fusion therapeutics.

J Biol Chem. 2013 Jul 1;

Authors: Andersen JT, Cameron J, Plumridge A, Evans L, Sleep D, Sandlie I


Albumin has a serum half-life of three weeks in humans. This has been utilized to extend the serum persistence of biopharmaceuticals that are fused to albumin. In light of the fact that the neonatal Fc receptor (FcRn) is a key regulator of albumin homeostasis, it is crucial to address how fusion of therapeutics to albumin impacts binding to FcRn. Here, we report on a detailed molecular investigation on how genetic fusion of a short peptide or an scFv fragment to human serum albumin (HSA) influences pH-dependent binding to FcRn from mouse, rat, monkey and human. We have found that fusion to the N- or C-terminal end of HSA only slightly reduces receptor binding, where the most noticeable effect is seen after fusion to the C-terminal end. Furthermore, in contrast to the observed strong binding to human and monkey FcRn, HSA and all HSA-fusions bound very poorly to mouse and rat versions of the receptor. Thus, we demonstrate that conventional rodents are limited as preclinical models for analysis of serum half-life of HSA-based biopharmaceuticals. This finding is explained by cross-species differences mainly found within domain III (DIII) of albumin. Our data demonstrate that although fusion, particularly to the C-terminal end, may slightly reduce the affinity for FcRn, HSA is versatile as a carrier of biopharmaceuticals.

PMID: 23818524 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]