• Authors: Konitzer, J. D., Sieron, A., Wacker, A., Enenkel, B.
  • Year: 2015
  • Journal: PLoS One 10 e0145633
  • Applications: in vitro / DNA / PEIpro
  • Cell type: CHO-3E7
    Description: Chinese hamster ovary cell line expressing a truncated but functional form of EBNA1.


Antibodies were expressed using the transient episomal CHO-3E7 expression system. Briefly, plasmid DNA (1μg/ml total transfection volume) was complexed with PEIpro. DNA-PEIpro complexes were added to CHO-3E7 in serum-free CHO Freestyle medium supplemented with 2mM L-Gln. Typical reaction volumes ranged from 100 – 250ml and transfections were incubated for 7–8 days before harvesting.


The direct induction of cell death, or apoptosis, in target cells is one of the effector mechanisms for the anti CD20 antibody Rituximab. Here we provide evidence that Rituximab's apoptotic ability is linked to the antibody IgG isotype. Reformatting Rituximab from the standard human IgG1 heavy chain into IgG2 or IgG4 boosted in vitro apoptosis induction in the Burkitt's lymphoma B cell line Ramos five and four-fold respectively. The determinants for this behavior are located in the hinge region and CH1 domain of the heavy chain. By transplanting individual IgG2 or IgG4 specific amino acid residues onto otherwise IgG1 like backbones, thereby creating hybrid antibodies, the same enhancement of apoptosis induction could be achieved. The cysteines at position 131 of the CH1 domain and 219 in the hinge region, involved in IgG2 and IgG4 disulfide formation, were found to be of particular structural importance. Our data indicates that the hybrid antibodies possess a different CD20 binding mode than standard Rituximab, which appears to be key in enhancing apoptotic ability. The presented work opens up an interesting engineering route for enhancing the direct cytotoxic ability of therapeutic antibodies.