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Thursday 01 July 2004

The conjugate Rituximab/saporin-S6 completely inhibits clonogenic growth of CD20-expressing cells and produces a synergistic toxic effect with Fludarabine.

By: Polito L, Bolognesi A, Tazzari PL, Farini V, Lubelli C, Zinzani PL, Ricci F, Stirpe F.

Leukemia 2004 Jul;18(7):1215-22

Immunotoxins are chimeric proteins consisting of a toxin coupled to an antibody. To date, several clinical trials have been conducted, and some are still ongoing, to evaluate their anti-tumor efficacy. In this view, we chemically constructed an anti-CD20 immunotoxin with the mAb Rituximab and the type 1 ribosome-inactivating protein (RIP) saporin-S6, designed for B cells non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL) therapy. This immunotoxin showed a specific cytotoxicity for the CD20+ cell lines Raji and D430B, evidenced by inhibition of protein synthesis, evaluation of apoptosis and clonogenic assay. Upon conjugation, saporin-S6 increased its toxicity on target cells by at least 2 logs, with IC(50) values of 0.1-0.3 nM. The percentage of AnnexinV+ cells was over 95% in both cell lines treated with 10 nM immunotoxin. A complete elimination of Raji clones was reached with the 10 nM immunotoxin, whereas a mixture of free RIP and mAb gave about 90% of clonogenic growth. Rituximab/saporin-S6, at 10 nM concentration, also induced apoptosis in 80% of lymphoma cells from NHL patients. Moreover, sensitivity of Raji to Rituximab/saporin-S6 was augmented when cells were coincubated with Fludarabine. The synergistic toxic effect of the two drugs led to a total elimination of the neoplastic population.

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