Structural influence of antibody recruiting glycodendrimers (ARGs) on antitumoral cytotoxicity†
The recruitment of endogenous antibodies against cancer cells has become a reliable antitumoral immunotherapeutic alternative over the last decade. The covalent attachment of antibody and tumor binding modules (ABM and TBM) within a single, well-defined synthetic molecule was indeed demonstrated to promote the formation of an interacting ternary complex between both the antibodies and the targeted cell, which usually results in the simultaneous immune-mediated cellular destruction. In a preliminary study, we have described the first Antibody Recruiting Glycodendrimers (ARGs), combining cRGD as ligands for the αVβ3-expressing melanoma cell line M21 and Rha as ligand for natural IgM, and demonstrated that multivalency is an essential requirement to form this complex. In the present study, we synthesized a new series of ARGs composed of ABMs, i.e. self-condensed rhamnosylated cyclopeptide and polylysine dendrimer, which have been conjugated to the TBM with or without spacer. Flow cytometry and confocal microscopy experiments with human serum and different cell lines revealed that the ABM geometry significantly influences the ternary complex formation in M21, whereas no significant binding occurs in BT 549 having low integrin expression. In addition, we demonstrate with a cellular viability assay that ARGs induce high level of cytotoxicity against M21 which is also in close correlation with the ABM structure. In particular, we have shown that ARG combining cyclopeptide core and branches, with or without spacer, induce 40–57% of selective cytotoxicity against M21 cells in the presence of human serum as the unique source of immunity effectors. Finally, we also highlight that the spacer between ABM and TBM enables an increase of the immune-mediate cytotoxicity even with ABM of lower valency.