(19)
(11)EP 3 674 324 A1

(12)EUROPEAN PATENT APPLICATION
published in accordance with Art. 153(4) EPC

(43)Date of publication:
01.07.2020 Bulletin 2020/27

(21)Application number: 17904317.9

(22)Date of filing:  30.03.2017
(51)Int. Cl.: 
C07K 16/36  (2006.01)
A61P 35/00  (2006.01)
C07K 14/745  (2006.01)
C12N 1/19  (2006.01)
C12N 5/10  (2006.01)
C12P 21/08  (2006.01)
A61K 39/395  (2006.01)
C07K 7/06  (2006.01)
C12N 1/15  (2006.01)
C12N 1/21  (2006.01)
C12N 15/09  (2006.01)
(86)International application number:
PCT/JP2017/013488
(87)International publication number:
WO 2018/179302 (04.10.2018 Gazette  2018/40)
(84)Designated Contracting States:
AL AT BE BG CH CY CZ DE DK EE ES FI FR GB GR HR HU IE IS IT LI LT LU LV MC MK MT NL NO PL PT RO RS SE SI SK SM TR
Designated Extension States:
BA ME
Designated Validation States:
MA MD

(71)Applicants:
  • Tohoku University
    Sendai-shi, Miyagi 980-8577 (JP)
  • Zenoaq Resource Co. Ltd.
    Koriyama-shi, Fukushima 963-0196 (JP)

(72)Inventors:
  • KATO, Yukinari
    Sendai-shi Miyagi 980-8577 (JP)
  • KATO, Mika
    Sendai-shi Miyagi 980-8577 (JP)
  • YAMADA, Shinji
    Sendai-shi Miyagi 980-8577 (JP)
  • OGASAWARA, Satoshi
    Sendai-shi Miyagi 980-8577 (JP)
  • NAKAMURA, Takuro
    Sendai-shi Miyagi 980-8577 (JP)

(74)Representative: Gill Jennings & Every LLP 
The Broadgate Tower 20 Primrose Street
London EC2A 2ES
London EC2A 2ES (GB)

  


(54)ANTI-PODOPLANIN ANTIBODY


(57) The present invention provides a cancer cell-specific anti-podoplanin antibody or an antigen-binding fragment thereof having an epitope in a Thr85-containing region of an amino acid sequence of human podoplanin represented by SEQ ID NO: 1, the Thr85 having a sialylated O-glycan added thereto.


Description

Technical Field



[0001] The present invention relates to a novel anti-podoplanin antibody and the like.

Background Art



[0002] Podoplanin is a mucin-type glycoprotein known as a platelet aggregating factor and a metastasis-accelerating factor and it is a type-1 transmembrane protein possessing a transmembrane domain at the C-terminus.

[0003] Podoplanin is known to exhibit high expression in brain tumor, mesothelioma, testicular tumor, ovarian cancer, and a variety of squamous cancers (oral cancer, pharynx cancer, larynx cancer, esophageal cancer, lung cancer, skin cancer, and uterine cervical cancer). Anti-podoplanin antibodies are therefore expected to show anti-cancer action (anti-tumor activity) in cancer (tumor) in which podoplanin is expressed highly. There is therefore a demand for an antibody having higher specificity or affinity to podoplanin or a novel antibody capable of recognizing podoplanin.

[0004] We have recently developed a method (CasMab method) of producing a monoclonal antibody showing specific reactivity with cancer cells. The CasMab method makes it possible to make use of a difference in post-translational modification such as glycan modification and thereby produce an antibody drug which attacks only a cancer cell when a membrane protein having the same amino acid sequence is expressed in cancer cells and normal cells (Non-Patent Documents 1 to 3).

[0005] A plurality of cancer cell-specific antibodies to podoplanin has so far been produced (Patent Document 1, Non-patent Documents 3 and 4). The cancer cell-specific antibodies to podoplanin show high reactivity with cancer cells such as lung cancer, esophageal cancer, brain tumor, and malignant mesothelioma in which cancer-type podoplanin is expressed highly, but they never react with lymphatic endothelial cells, alveolar epithelial cells, and renal epithelial cells in which normal podoplanin is highly expressed. Monoclonal antibodies so far developed by the CasMab method have strong ADCC/CDC activity and have shown a high anti-tumor effect in a mouse tumor xenograft model so that they have not only specificity to cancer but also possibility as an antibody drug.

Citation List


Patent Document



[0006] Patent Document 1: WO2015/053381

Non-Patent Document



[0007] 

Non-Patent Document 1: Kato Y, Ogasawara S, Oki H, Goichberg P, Honma R, Fujii Y, Kaneko MK. LpMab-12 Established by CasMab Technology Specifically Detects Sialylated O-glycan on Thr52 of Platelet Aggregation-stimulating Domain of Human Podoplanin. PLoS One, 11(3), e0152912, 2016

Non-patent Document 2: Kato Y, Kunita A, Abe S, Ogasawara S, Fujii Y, Oki H, Fukayama M, Nishioka Y, and Kaneko MK. The chimeric antibody chLpMab-7 targeting human podoplanin suppresses pulmonary metastasis via ADCC and CDC rather than via its neutralizing activity. Oncotarget, 36003-36018, 2015

Non-patent Document 3: Kato Y and Kaneko MK. A Cancer-specific Monoclonal Antibody Recognizes the Aberrantly Glycosylated Podoplanin. Sci Rep., 4, 5924, 2014

Non-patent Document 4: Kaneko MK, Yamada S, Nakamura T, Abe S, Nishioka Y, Kunita A, Fukayama M, Fujii Y, Ogasawara S, Kato Y* Antitumor activity of chLpMab-2, a human-mouse chimeric cancer-specific antihuman podoplanin antibody, via antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity. Cancer Med., DOI: 10.1002/cam4.1049


Summary


Technical Problem



[0008] Technical problem of the present invention is to provide a novel anti-podoplanin antibody useful as a drug, a diagnostic agent, or a reagent.

Solution to Problem



[0009] It has been found that the epitope of a PMab-117 antibody and a modified antibody thereof established by the present invention contains an O-glycan (sialylated) added to Thr85 of human podoplanin. The PMab-117 antibody and modified antibody thereof are strongly positive to cancer cells in which human podoplanin is expressed, but have low reactivity with normal cells, showing that they are cancer cell-specific antibodies. It has never been certified that a glycan is added to Thr85 of human podoplanin and an antibody having an epitope containing O-glycan-added Thr85 has not been established at all so that PMab-117 is a cancer cell-specific anti-podoplanin antibody having a novel epitope.

[0010] The following is the details of the invention.

[1] A cancer cell-specific anti-podoplanin antibody or antigen-binding fragment thereof having an epitope in a Thr85-containing region in an amino acid sequence of human podoplanin represented by SEQ ID NO: 1, the Thr85 having a sialylated O-glycan added thereto.

[2] The cancer cell-specific anti-podoplanin antibody or antigen-binding fragment thereof as described above in [1], wherein the epitope is in a 78th to 85th region (IRIEDLPT) of the amino acid sequence of human podoplanin represented by SEQ ID NO: 1.

[3-1] A cancer cell-specific anti-podoplanin antibody or antigen-binding fragment thereof, including:

at least one of the following six CDR amino acid sequences,

at least one of amino acid sequences obtained by addition, substitution or deletion of one to several amino acids from the following six CDR amino acid sequences, or

at least one of amino acid sequences having 80% or more identity to the following six CDR amino acid sequences:

heavy chain CDR1: GFTFSNAAMY (SEQ ID NO: 2)

heavy chain CDR2: RIRSKPNNYATYYTDSVKG (SEQ ID NO: 3)

heavy chain CDR3: TVGGNNYAAAY (SEQ ID NO: 4)

light chain CDR1: RSSQSLVHSNGNTYLE (SEQ ID NO: 5)

light chain CDR2: KVSNRFS (SEQ ID NO: 6)

light chain CDR3: FQVTHDPFT (SEQ ID NO: 7).

[3-2] The cancer cell-specific anti-podoplanin antibody or antigen-binding fragment thereof as described above in [1] or [2], including:

at least one of the following six CDR amino acid sequences,

at least one of amino acid sequences obtained by addition, substitution or deletion of one to several amino acids from the following six CDR amino acid sequences, or

at least one amino acid sequence having 80% or more identity to the following six CDR amino acid sequences:

heavy chain CDR1: GFTFSNAAMY (SEQ ID NO: 2)

heavy chain CDR2: RIRSKPNNYATYYTDSVKG (SEQ ID NO: 3)

heavy chain CDR3: TVGGNNYAAAY (SEQ ID NO: 4)

light chain CDR1: RSSQSLVHSNGNTYLE (SEQ ID NO: 5)

light chain CDR2: KVSNRFS (SEQ ID NO: 6)

light chain CDR3: FQVTHDPFT (SEQ ID NO: 7).

[4-1] A cancer cell-specific anti-podoplanin antibody or antigen-binding fragment thereof, including:

a heavy chain having an amino acid sequence represented by SEQ ID NO: 8 or 10;

a heavy chain having an amino acid sequence obtained by addition, substitution or deletion of one to several amino acids from the amino acid sequence represented by SEQ ID NO: 8 or 10;

a heavy chain having an amino acid sequence having 80% or more identity to the amino acid sequence represented by SEQ ID NO: 8 or 10;

a light chain having an amino acid sequence represented by SEQ ID NO: 9 or 11 ;

a light chain having an amino acid sequence obtained by addition, substitution or deletion of one to several amino acids from the amino acid sequence represented by SEQ ID NO: 9 or 11, or

a light chain having an amino acid sequence having 80% or more identity to the amino acid sequence represented by SEQ ID NO: 9 or 11.

[4-2] The cancer cell-specific anti-podoplanin antibody or antigen-binding fragment thereof as described above in any of [1] to [3-2], including:

a heavy chain having an amino acid sequence represented by SEQ ID NO: 8 or 10;

a heavy chain having an amino acid sequence obtained by addition, substitution or deletion of one to several amino acids from the amino acid sequence represented by SEQ ID NO: 8 or 10;

a heavy chain having an amino acid sequence having 80% or more identity to the amino acid sequence represented by SEQ ID NO: 8 or 10,

a light chain having an amino acid sequence represented by SEQ ID NO: 9 or 11 ;

a light chain having an amino acid sequence obtained by addition, substitution or deletion of one to several amino acids from the amino acid sequence represented by SEQ ID NO: 9 or 11; or

a light chain having an amino acid sequence having 80% or more identity to the amino acid sequence represented by SEQ ID NO: 9 or 11.

[5] The cancer cell-specific anti-podoplanin antibody or antigen-binding fragment thereof as described above in any of [1] to [4-2], having one or more N-glycans bound to an Fc region thereof and no fucose bound to N-acetylglucosamin at a reducing end of the N-glycan(s).

[6] A nucleic acid encoding any one of the amino acid sequences as described above in [3] or [4].

[7] An expression vector including the nucleic acid described above in [6].

[8] A transformant including the expression vector described above in [7].

[9] A pharmaceutical composition including, as an effective ingredient thereof, the cancer cell-specific anti-podoplanin antibody or antigen-binding fragment thereof as described above in any of [1] to [5].

[10] A pharmaceutical composition including, as an effective ingredient thereof, the cancer cell-specific anti-podoplanin antibody or antigen-binding fragment thereof as described above in any of [1] to [5] to which a substance having an anti-cancer activity has been bound.

[11] The pharmaceutical composition described above in [9] or [10], which is a preventive or treatment agent of tumor.

[12] Human podoplanin having an amino acid sequence represented by SEQ ID NO: 1 and having Thr85 to which a sialylated O-glycan has been added.

[13] A glycopeptide having the following amino acid sequence: IRIEDLPT (SEQ ID NO: 12) and having Thr to which a sialylated O-glycan has been added.


Advantageous Effects of Invention



[0011] Using a cancer cell-specific antibody makes it possible to obtain a drug having a side effect minimized as much as possible because the antibody can exhibit an anticancer activity in a cancer cell-specific manner. It is also useful for the delivery of a cancer cell-targeting agent and is highly useful as a diagnostic agent or reagent.

[0012] The present invention makes it possible to provide a novel anti-podoplanin antibody useful as a drug, a diagnostic agent, and a reagent.

Brief Description of Drawings



[0013] 

Fig. 1 shows an amino acid sequence (SEQ ID NO: 1) of human podoplanin.

Fig. 2 shows measurement results, on EC800 (product of Sony), of fluorescence intensity in flow cytometry using PMab-117 and NZ-1.

Fig. 3 shows a heavy chain DNA sequence (SEQ ID NO: 13) of chPMab-117.

Fig. 4 shows a light chain DNA sequence (SEQ ID NO: 14) of chPMab-117.

Fig. 5 shows a heavy chain amino acid sequence (SEQ ID NO: 8) of chPMab-117.

Fig. 6 shows a light chain amino acid sequence (SEQ ID NO: 9) of chPMab-117.

Fig. 7 shows the measurement results, on EC800 (product of Sony), of fluorescence intensity in flow cytometry using chPMab-117.

Fig. 8 shows a heavy chain DNA sequence (SEQ ID NO: 15) of chPMab117-mG2a.

Fig. 9 shows a light chain DNA sequence (SEQ ID NO: 16) of chPMab117-mG2a.

Fig. 10 shows a heavy chain amino acid sequence (SEQ ID NO: 10) of chPMab117-mG2a.

Fig. 11 shows a light chain amino acid sequence (SEQ ID NO: 11) of chPMab117-mG2a.

Fig. 12 shows the measurement results, on EC800 (product of Sony), of fluorescence intensity in flow cytometry using chPMab117-mG2a.

Fig. 13 shows the measurement results, on EC800 (product of Sony), of fluorescence intensity in flow cytometry using PMab-117 in an N-terminal deletion mutant of human podoplanin.

Fig. 14 shows the measurement results, on EC800 (product of Sony), of fluorescence intensity in flow cytometry using chPMab-117 in an N-terminal deletion mutant of human podoplanin.

Fig. 15 shows the measurement results, on EC800 (product of Sony), of fluorescence intensity in flow cytometry using PMab-117 and chPMab-117 in various glycan-deficient cell lines of human podoplanin.

Fig. 16 shows the measurement results, on EC 800 (product of Sony), of fluorescence intensity in flow cytometry using PMab-117, chPMab-117, and NZ-1 in human podoplanin substituted, at all Ser/Thr on and after 75th one, with alanine.

Fig. 17 shows the measurement results, on EC 800 (product of Sony), of fluorescence intensity in flow cytometry using PMab-117, chPMab-117, and NZ-1 in human podoplanin substituted, at all of the 77th to 89th amino acids, with alanine.


Description of Embodiments


(Anti-podoplanin antibody)



[0014] An anti-podoplanin antibody according to the present invention is a cancer cell-specific anti-podoplanin antibody having an epitope in a Thr85-containing region of an amino acid sequence of human podoplanin represented by SEQ ID NO: 1 and in the antibody, Thr85 has a sialylated O-glycan added thereto. The O-glycan is also called an "O-linked glycan".

[0015] The term "antibody" as used herein has a structure which has two heavy chains (H chains) and two light chains (L chains) associated with each other and has been stabilized by a pair of disulfide bonds. The heavy chains are each composed of a heavy chain variable region VH, heavy chain constant regions CH1, CH2, and CH3, and a hinge region located between CH1 and CH2, while the light chains are each composed of a light chain variable region VL and a light chain constant region CL. Of these regions, a variable region fragment (Fv) composed of VH and VL is a region which is directly involved in antigen binding and provides the antibody with diversity. An antigen binding region composed of VL, CL, VH and CH1 is called "Fab region" and a region composed of the hinge region, CH2, and CH3 is called "Fc region".

[0016] Of the variable regions, the region in direct contact with the antigen is particularly highly variable and is called "complementarity-determining region (CDR)". A relatively mutation-less region other than CDR is called "framework region (FR)". The light chain variable region and the heavy chain variable region each have three CDRs (heavy chains CDR1 to 3 and light chains CDR1 to 3).

[0017] The anti-podoplanin antibody according to the present invention may be either a monoclonal antibody or a polyclonal antibody. The anti-podoplanin antibody of the present invention may be any isotype of IgG, IgM, IgA, IgD, and IgE.

[0018] The anti-podoplanin antibody according to the present invention may be obtained by immunizing a non-human animal such as mouse, rat, hamster, guinea pig, rabbit, or chicken or it may be a recombinant antibody, or a chimeric antibody, a humanized antibody, a fully humanized antibody, or the like. The "chimeric antibody" means an antibody obtained by linking fragments of antibodies derived from different species.

[0019] The term "humanized antibody" means an antibody obtained by substituting, by an amino acid sequence characteristic to a non-human-derived antibody, a position of a human antibody corresponding thereto. Examples of it include antibodies having heavy chains CDR1 to 3 and light chains CDR1 to 3 of the antibody prepared by immunizing a mouse or rat and, in all the other regions including four respective framework regions (FR) of the heavy chains and light chains, derived from the human antibody. Such an antibody may also be called "CDR grafted antibody". The term "humanized antibody" may include a human chimeric antibody.

[0020] The term "antigen-binding fragment" of the anti-podoplanin antibody as used herein means a fragment of the anti-podoplanin antibody that binds to podoplanin. Specific examples include, but are not limited to, Fab composed of VL, VH, CL, and CH1 regions; F(ab')2 having two Fabs connected via a disulfide bond in a hinge region; Fv composed of VL and VH; a single-chain antibody, scFv, having VL and VH connected via an artificial polypeptide linker; and a bispecific antibody such as diabody type, scDb type, tandem scFv type, and leucine zipper type.

[0021] The anti-podoplanin antibody according to the present invention has preferably an epitope in a glycopeptide portion of human podoplanin which is in a 78th to 85th region (78-IRIEDLPT-85) of an amino acid sequence of human podoplanin represented by SEQ ID NO: 1 and has 85th threonine to which a sialylated O-glycan has been added.

[0022] The anti-podoplanin antibody according to the present invention having an epitope in the 78th to 85th region (78-IRIEDLPT-85) of the amino acid sequence of human podoplanin is an antibody recognizes both a peptide and a glycan that are contained in the epitope.

[0023] The amino acid sequence represented by 78-IRIEDLPT-85 corresponds to from 78th amino acid to 85th amino acid of human podoplanin represented by SEQ ID NO: 1 and T corresponds to 85th threonine (Thr85) of the amino acid sequence of SEQ ID NO: 1.

[0024] The present invention also provides, as an epitope of an anti-podoplanin antibody, a glycopeptide represented by IRIEDLPT (SEQ ID NO: 12) having Thr to which a sialylated O-glycan has been added. The present invention also provides a human podoplanin having an amino acid sequence represented by SEQ ID NO: 1 and having Thr85 to which a sialylated O-glycan has been added.

[0025] The anti-podoplanin antibody according to the present invention may have at least one of the following six CDRs. These CDRs are CDR sequences of PMab-117.

Heavy chain CDR1: GFTFSNAAMY (SEQ ID NO: 2)

Heavy chain CDR2: RIRSKPNNYATYYTDSVKG (SEQ ID NO: 3)

Heavy chain CDR3: TVGGNNYAAAY (SEQ ID NO: 4)

Light chain CDR1: RSSQSLVHSNGNTYLE (SEQ ID NO: 5)

Light chain CDR2: KVSNRFS (SEQ ID NO: 6)

Light chain CDR3: FQVTHDPFT (SEQ ID NO: 7)



[0026] The anti-podoplanin antibody according to the present invention is a cancer cell-specific anti-podoplanin antibody having an epitope in a Thr85-containing region of an amino acid sequence of human podoplanin represented by SEQ ID NO: 1 and the Thr85 has a sialylated O-glycan added thereto. It has preferably at least one of the above-described six CDRs. The anti-podoplanin antibody has more preferably an epitope in a glycopeptide portion of human podoplanin which is in the 78th to 85th region (78-IRIEDLPT-85) of the amino acid sequence of human podoplanin represented by SEQ ID NO: 1 and has 85th threonine to which a sialylated O-glycan has been added.

[0027] The anti-podoplanin antibody according to the present invention may contain at least one of six CDRs. It may contain a plurality of CDRs of the six CDRs and for example, it may contain two or more, three or more, four or more, five or more or six CDRs.

[0028] When the anti-podoplanin antibody according to the present invention contains six CDRs, the anti-podoplanin antibody has heavy chains CDR1 to 3 represented by SEQ ID NOS: 2 to 4 and light chains CDR1 to 3 represented by SEQ ID NOS: 5 to 7, respectively.

[0029] When the anti-podoplanin antibody according to the present invention contains any one of heavy chains CDR1 to 3 represented by SEQ ID NOS: 2 to 4 and light chains CDR1 to 3 represented by SEQ ID NOS: 5 to 7, respectively, it may contain an amino acid sequence obtained by addition, substitution or deletion of one to several amino acids from the sequence.

[0030] In the present specification, the term "amino acid" is used in its broadest meaning and it embraces not only naturally occurring amino acids but also artificial amino acid variants and derivatives of them. The amino acids may be represented by a commonly used single-letter or three-letter code. Examples of the amino acid used herein include naturally occurring proteinogenic L-amino acids, non-naturally occurring amino acids, and chemically synthesized compounds having properties known in the art as characteristics of an amino acid.

[0031] Examples of the non-naturally occurring amino acids include, but are not limited to, α,α-disubstituted amino acids (such as α-methylalanine), N-alkyl-α-amino acids, D-amino acids, β-amino acids, and α-hydroxy acids, each having a main chain structure different from that of naturally occurring amino acids; amino acids (such as norleucine and homohistidine) having a side-chain structure different from that of naturally occurring amino acids; amino acids (such as "homo"amino acids, homophenylalanine, and homohistidine) having extra methylene in the side chain thereof; and amino acids (such as cysteic acid) obtained by substituting a carboxylic acid functional group in the side chain by a sulfonic acid group.

[0032] When the term "having addition, substitution, or deletion of one to several amino acids" is used herein, the number of amino acids to be added, substituted, or deleted is not particularly limited insofar as the resulting polypeptide retains its function as a CDR. The number of amino acids is set at, for example, 1, 2, 3, or 4. The term may mean "having addition, substitution, or deletion of one amino acid", "having addition, substitution, or deletion of one to two amino acids", "having addition, substitution, or deletion of one to three amino acids", or "having addition, substitution, or deletion of one to four amino acids".

[0033] The position of deletion, substitution, or addition of amino acid(s) may be any position of a CDR sequence to be subjected to addition, substitution, or deletion of amino acid(s) insofar as the function as a CDR is retained.

[0034] When the anti-podoplanin antibody according to the present invention contains any one of heavy chains CDR1 to 3 represented by SEQ ID NOS: 2 to 4 and light chains CDR1 to 3 represented by SEQ ID NOS: 5 to 7, respectively, it may contain an amino acid sequence having 80% or more identity to a corresponding amino acid sequence of heavy chains CDR1 to 3 represented by SEQ ID NOS: 2 to 4 and light chains CDR1 to 3 represented by SEQ ID NOS: 5 to 7, respectively.

[0035] The term "having 80% or more identity" as used herein means that when two polypeptides having an amino acid sequence before mutation and a sequence mutated therefrom, respectively, are aligned so that their amino acid sequences show the maximum identity, the number of amino acid residues which they have in common is 80% or more of the number of amino acids of the amino acid sequence before mutation.

[0036] The identity is not limited insofar as it is 80% or more and the function as a CDR can be retained. It can be set at, for example, 85% or more, 90% or more, 95% or more, 98% or more, or 99% or more.

[0037] The term "having 80% or more identity" to an amino acid sequence represented by any of SEQ ID NOS: 2 to 7 means that when an amino acid sequence represented by any of SEQ ID NOS: 2 to 7 and an amino acid sequence of a polypeptide having a sequence mutated therefrom are aligned so that they show the maximum identity as a result of comparison, the number of amino acid residues which they have in common is 80% or more of the number of amino acids of the amino acid sequence represented by any of SEQ ID NOS: 2 to 7.

[0038] A CDR composed of an amino acid sequence obtained by addition, substitution, or deletion of an amino acid from the amino acid sequence of the heavy chains CDR1 to 3 and the light chains CDR1 to 3, or a CDR having 80% or more identity to the amino acid sequence of the heavy chains CDR1 to 3 and the light chains CDR1 to 3 may be prepared using a known method such as site-specific mutagenesis, random mutagenesis, chain shuffling, or CDR walking. It is well known to those skilled in the art that when the above method is used, a CDR with more mature affinity can be obtained by presenting an antibody or antibody fragment having, in the CDR thereof, a variety of mutations on a phage surface by phage display, followed by screening using an antigen (e.g., Wu et al., PNAS, 95: 6037-6042 (1998); Schier, R. et al., J. Mol. Bio. 263: 551-567 (1996); Schier, R. et al., J. Mol. Biol. 255: 28-43 (1996); Yang, W.P. et al., J. Mol. Biol., 254: 392-403 (1995)).

[0039] The anti-podoplanin antibody according to the present invention preferably includes a heavy chain having an amino acid sequence represented by SEQ ID NO: 8 or 10; a heavy chain having an amino acid sequence obtained by addition, substitution, or deletion of one to several amino acids from the amino acid sequence represented by SEQ ID NO: 8 or 10; or a heavy chain having an amino acid sequence having 80% or more identity to the amino acid sequence represented by SEQ ID NO: 8 or 10.

[0040] The amino acid sequence represented by SEQ ID NO: 8 is the heavy chain amino acid sequence of a chimeric antibody chPMab-117 and the amino acid sequence represented by SEQ ID NO: 10 is the heavy chain amino acid sequence of a chimeric antibody chPMab-117-mG2a.

[0041] The anti-podoplanin antibody according to the present invention preferably includes a light chain having an amino acid sequence represented by SEQ ID NO: 9 or 11; a light chain having an amino acid sequence obtained by addition, substitution, or deletion of one to several amino acids from the amino acid sequence represented by SEQ ID NO: 9 or 11; or a light chain having an amino acid sequence having 80% or more identity to the amino acid sequence represented by SEQ ID NO: 9 or 11.

[0042] The amino acid sequence represented by SEQ ID NO: 9 is the light chain amino acid sequence of a chimeric antibody chPMab-117 and the amino acid sequence represented by SEQ ID NO: 11 is the light chain amino acid sequence of a chimeric antibody chPMab-117-mG2a.

[0043] The anti-podoplanin antibody according to the present invention more preferably includes the heavy chain having an amino acid sequence represented by SEQ ID NO: 8; and the light chain having an amino acid sequence represented by SEQ ID NO: 9.

[0044] It may include the heavy chain having an amino acid sequence obtained by addition, substitution or deletion of one to several amino acids from the amino acid sequence represented by SEQ ID NO: 8; and the light chain having an amino acid sequence obtained by addition, substitution or deletion of one to several amino acids from the amino acid sequence represented by SEQ ID NO: 9.

[0045] It may include the heavy chain having an amino acid sequence having 80% or more identity to the amino acid sequence represented by SEQ ID NO: 8 and the light chain having an amino acid sequence having 80% or more identity to the amino acid sequence represented by SEQ ID NO: 9.

[0046] The anti-podoplanin antibody according to the present invention more preferably includes the heavy chain having an amino acid sequence represented by SEQ ID NO: 10; and the light chain having an amino acid sequence represented by SEQ ID NO: 11.

[0047] It may include the heavy chain having an amino acid sequence obtained by addition, substitution, or deletion of one to several amino acids from the amino acid sequence represented by SEQ ID NO: 10; and the light chain having an amino acid sequence obtained by addition, substitution, or deletion of one to several amino acids from the amino acid sequence represented by SEQ ID NO: 11.

[0048] It may include the heavy chain having an amino acid sequence having 80% or more identity to the amino acid sequence represented by SEQ ID NO: 10 and the light chain having an amino acid sequence having 80% or more identity to the amino acid sequence represented by SEQ ID NO: 11.

[0049] When the term "addition, substitution, or deletion of one to several amino acids" from the amino acid sequence of a heavy chain or light chain is used herein, the number of amino acids to be added, substituted, or deleted can be set at, for example, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, or 10. Other terms have the same meaning as described above.

[0050] The term "having 80% or more identity" to the amino acid sequence represented by any of SEQ ID NOS: 8 to 11 as used herein means that when two polypeptides having an amino acid sequence represented by any of SEQ ID NOS: 8 to 11 and a mutated sequence thereof, respectively, are aligned so that their amino acid sequences show the maximum identity as a result of comparison, the number of amino acid residues which they have in common is 80% or more of the number of the amino acids of the amino acid sequence represented by the any of SEQ ID NOS. 8 to 11.

[0051] The anti-podoplanin antibody according to the present invention may be an antibody having one or more N-glycans bound to the Fc region thereof and having no fucose bound to N-acetylglucosamine at the reducing end of the N-glycan. An N-glycan is also called an "N-linked glycan".

[0052] For example, the Fc region of an IgG antibody has therein two binding sites of an N-glycan and a complex-type glycan is bound to these sites. The term "N-glycan" means a glycan to be bound to Asn of an Asn-X-Ser/Thr sequence and has a common structure Man3GlcNAc2 (-Asn) bound to Asn. It is classified into a high mannose type, a hybrid type, a complex type, and the like, depending on the kind of the glycan bound to two mannoses (Man) at the non-reducing end.

[0053] Although fucose may bind to N-acetylglucosamine (GlcNAc) at the reducing end of an N-glycan, it is known that when fucose is not bound thereto, compared with when fucose is bound thereto, the resulting antibody has a remarkably enhanced ADCC activity. This is described, for example, in the pamphlet of WO2002/031140, the disclosure of which is incorporated by reference herein in its entirety.

[0054] When such an antibody having a remarkably enhanced ADCC activity is used, a dose of the antibody used as a drug can be decreased so that both alleviation of a side effect and a reduction in medical expenses can be achieved.

[0055] The anti-podoplanin antibody of the present invention may be used after a substance having an anti-cancer activity is bound thereto.

[0056] The term "substance having an anti-cancer activity" as used herein means a substance which causes at least one of reduction of a tumor size (retardation or stopping of a tumor from becoming large), inhibition of tumor metastasis, inhibition (retardation or stopping) of tumor growth, and alleviation of one or more symptoms associated with cancer. Specific examples include, but are not limited to, toxins, anti-cancer agents, and radioisotopes.

[0057] Examples of a toxin having an anti-cancer activity include Pseudomonas exotoxin (PE) or a cytotoxic fragment thereof (for example, PE38), a diphtheria toxin, and ricin A. The toxin having an anti-cancer activity exhibits toxicity only to cells into which the toxin is incorporated together with the anti-podoplanin antibody, that is, cancer cells expressing podoplanin so that it has an advantage of specifically producing an effect without adversely affecting cells around them. The anti-podoplanin antibody of the present invention is useful because it specifically binds to podoplanin that is expressed in tumor cells.

[0058] Examples of the anti-cancer agent include low molecular weight compounds such as adriamycin, daunomycin, mitomycin, cisplatin, vincristine, epirubicin, methotrexate, 5-fluorouracil, aclacinomycin, nitrogen mustard, cyclophosphamide, bleomycin, daunorubicin, doxorubicin, vincristine, vinblastine, vindesine, tamoxifen, and dexamethasone, and proteins such as cytokines activating immunocompetent cells (for example, human interleukin 2, human granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor, human macrophage colony-stimulating factor, and human interleukin 12).

[0059] Examples of the radioisotope having an anti-cancer activity include 32P, 14C, 125I, 3H, 131I, 211At, and 90Y. The radioisotope also exhibits toxicity to cells around cells to which the anti-podoplanin antibody binds, that is, podoplanin expressed cells. In general, tumor cells are not uniform and podoplanin is not expressed in every tumor cell so that a radioisotope is useful for killing podoplanin-negative tumor cells around them. Further, when a radioisotope is bound to an anti-podoplanin antibody, the antibody may be a low molecular weight one such as Fab or scFv.

[0060] The substance having an anti-cancer activity may be directly bound to the anti-podoplanin antibody by a known method. For example, the substance having an anti-cancer activity may be enclosed in a carrier such as liposome having a surface modified with the anti-podoplanin antibody.

[0061] When the substance having an anti-cancer activity is a protein or a polypeptide, a nucleic acid (which will be described later) encoding the anti-podoplanin antibody of the present invention may be linked with a DNA encoding the substance having an anti-cancer activity, followed by insertion into an appropriate expression vector to allow them to express as a fusion protein of the substance having an anti-cancer activity and the anti-podoplanin antibody.

(Nucleic acid)



[0062] The present invention embraces a nucleic acid encoding the anti-podoplanin antibody of the present invention. The nucleic acid may be either a naturally occurring nucleic acid or an artificial nucleic acid. Examples include, but are not limited to, DNA, RNA, and a chimera of DNA and RNA. The base sequence of the nucleic acid encoding the anti-podoplanin antibody can be determined by a method known to those skilled in the art or a method based thereon. It can be prepared by a known method or a method based thereon.

[0063] The nucleic acid according to the present invention may be a nucleic acid encoding:

an amino acid sequence of the following six CDRs,

an amino acid sequence obtained by addition, substitution, or deletion of one to several amino acids from the amino acid sequence of the following six CDRs, or

an amino acid sequence having 80% or more identity to the amino acid sequence of the following six CDRs:

heavy chain CDR1: GFTFSNAAMY (SEQ ID NO: 2),

heavy chain CDR2: RIRSKPNNYATYYTDSVKG (SEQ ID NO: 3),

heavy chain CDR3: TVGGNNYAAAY (SEQ ID NO: 4),

light chain CDR1: RSSQSLVHSNGNTYLE (SEQ ID NO: 5),

light chain CDR2: KVSNRFS (SEQ ID NO: 6), and

light chain CDR3: FQVTHDPFT (SEQ ID NO: 7);

an amino acid sequence represented by SEQ ID NO: 8 or 10,

an amino acid sequence obtained by addition, substitution, or deletion of one to several amino acids from the amino acid sequence represented by SEQ ID NO: 8 or 10,

an amino acid sequence having 80% or more identity to the amino acid sequence represented by SEQ ID NO. 8 or 10,

an amino acid sequence represented by SEQ ID NO: 9 or 11,

an amino acid sequence obtained by addition, substitution, or deletion of one to several amino acids from the amino acid sequence represented by SEQ ID NO: 9 or 11, or

an amino acid sequence having 80% or more identity to the amino acid sequence represented by SEQ ID NO. 9 or 11.



[0064] Examples of the nucleic acid encoding the anti-podoplanin antibody of the present invention include, but are not limited to, DNA encoding the heavy chain of chPMab-117 represented by SEQ ID NO: 13, DNA encoding the light chain of chPMab-117 represented by SEQ ID NO: 14, DNA encoding the heavy chain of chPMab117-mG2a represented by SEQ ID NO: 15, and DNA encoding the light chain of chPMab117-mG2a represented by SEQ ID NO: 16.

[0065] Respective nucleic acids encoding CDRs of chPMab-117 and chPMab117-mG2a are included in the DNA sequence represented by any of SEQ ID NOS: 13 to 16.

(Expression vector)



[0066] The present invention also embraces an expression vector containing the nucleic acid of the present invention. The expression vector can be selected as needed according to a host cell to be used. Examples include a plasmid, a retrovirus vector, an adenovirus vector, an adeno-associated virus (AAV) vector, a plant virus vector such as cauliflower mosaic virus vector or tobacco mosaic virus vector, a cosmid, a YAC, and an EBV-derived episome. The nucleic acid of the present invention may be inserted into these expression vectors by a known method (such as a method using a restriction enzyme).

[0067] The expression vector of the present invention may further contain, in addition to the nucleic acid of the present invention, for example, a nucleic acid encoding the anti-podoplanin antibody of the present invention, a promoter for controlling the expression of an antibody gene, a replication origin, a selection marker gene, or the like. The promoter and the replication origin may be selected as needed, depending on the kind of the host cell and vector.

(Transformant)



[0068] The present invention embraces a transformant containing the vector of the present invention. The transformant can be obtained by transfecting the vector of the present invention into appropriate host cells. Examples of the usable host cells include eukaryotic cells such as mammalian cells (CHO cells, COS cells, myeloma cells, HeLa cells, Vero cells, and the like), insect cells, plant cells, and fungus cells (Saccharomyces, Aspergillus, and the like), and prokaryotic cells such as Escherichia coli (E. coli) and Bacillus subtilis.

(Production method of anti-podoplanin antibody)



[0069] Although no limitation is imposed on a production method of the anti-podoplanin antibody of the present invention, an anti-podoplanin monoclonal antibody can be obtained, for example, by isolating antibody producing cells from a non-human mammal immunized with podoplanin or a fragment thereof, fusing them with myeloma cells or the like to obtain hybridomas, and purifying an antibody produced by the hybridomas. An anti-podoplanin polyclonal antibody can be obtained from the serum of an animal immunized with podoplanin or fragment thereof. The anti-podoplanin antibody of the present invention may be obtained by immunizing a non-human mammal with podoplanin obtained by adding a glycan other than a glycan to be bound to Thr85.

[0070] The podoplanin or segment thereof used in the method of producing the anti-podoplanin antibody of the present invention has a Thr85-containing region in the amino acid sequence of human podoplanin represented by SEQ ID NO: 1 and the Thr85 has a sialylated O-glycan added thereto. It preferably has a 78th to 85th region (IRIEDLPT) in an amino acid sequence of human podoplanin represented by SEQ ID NO: 1 and Thr85 has a sialylated O-glycan added thereto.

[0071] When the anti-podoplanin antibody of the present invention is produced using genetic recombination, it may be produced, for example, by transforming a proper host with an expression vector containing a nucleic acid encoding the anti-podoplanin antibody of the present invention, culturing the resulting transformant under appropriate conditions to express an antibody, and then isolating and purifying by a known method.

[0072] Examples of the isolating and purifying method include an affinity column using protein A or the like, another chromatography column, a filter, ultrafiltration, salting-out, and dialysis. These methods may be used in combination as needed.

[0073] An antibody that binds to a predetermined epitope sequence can be produced using a method known to those skilled in the art or a method based thereon. For example, a peptide containing an epitope sequence is fixed to a solid phase carrier and binding between the peptide and a plurality of antibodies is detected. Then, an antibody that specifically binds to the epitope can be obtained.

[0074] As the "plurality of antibodies", antibodies obtained by immunizing an animal with an antigen protein or a partial peptide thereof may be used or an antibody library or an antibody fragment library constructed by phage display may be used. When a library constructed by phage display is used, it is also possible to fix a peptide containing an epitope sequence to a solid phase carrier, repeat panning, and thereby obtain an antibody that specifically binds to the epitope.

[0075] A human chimeric antibody and a human CDR grafted antibody can be produced by cloning an antibody gene from mRNA of a hybridoma producing an antibody of an animal other than human and linking it to a portion of a human antibody gene by using genetic recombination technology.

[0076] For the production of a human chimeric antibody, cDNA is synthesized using reverse transcriptase from mRNA of a hybridoma that produces a mouse antibody, the heavy chain variable region (VH) and the light chain variable region (LH) are cloned by PCR, and then the sequence is analyzed. Next, a 5' primer containing a leader sequence is prepared from an antibody base sequence having a high identity and then a portion of the cDNA from the signal sequence to the 3' end of the variable region is cloned by PCR using the 5' primer and the variable region 3' primer. On the other hand, the constant region of the heavy chain and the light chain of human IgG1 is cloned and for the heavy chain and the light chain, the mouse antibody-derived variable region and the human antibody-derived constant region are linked to each other and amplified by Overlapping Hanging using PCR. The DNA thus obtained is inserted into an appropriate vector, followed by transformation to obtain a human chimeric antibody.

[0077] For the production of a human CDR grafted antibody, a human antibody variable region having the highest homology with a mouse antibody variable region to be used is selected and cloned and the base sequence of CDR is altered by site-selective mutagenesis using a mega-primer method. When humanization of an amino acid sequence constituting a framework region disturbs specific binding to an antigen, an amino acid of a portion of the framework may be converted from a human type to a rat type.

[0078] A CDR composed of an amino acid sequence obtained by deletion, substitution or addition of one or two amino acids to the original amino acid sequence or a CDR composed of an amino acid sequence having 80% or more identity to the original amino acid sequence may be prepared using a known method such as site-specific mutagenesis, random mutagenesis, chain shuffling, or CDR walking.

[0079] It is well known to those skilled in the art that according to these methods, a CDR having more mature affinity can be obtained by presenting an antibody or antibody fragment having a variety of mutations in CDRs on the phage surface by phage display and screening using an antigen (for example, Wu et al., PNAS, 95: 6037-6042 (1998); Schier, R. et al., J. Mol. Bio. 263: 551-567 (1996); Schier, R. et al., J. Mol. Biol. 255: 28-43 (1996); Yang, W.P. et al., J. Mol. Biol., 254: 392-403 (1995)). The present invention also embraces an antibody containing a CDR matured in such a manner.

[0080] Additional examples of the antibody production method include the Adlib system for obtaining an antibody producing cell line from Trichostatin A-treated chicken B cell-derived DT40 cell line (Seo, H. et al., Nat. Biotechnol., 6: 731-736, 2002) and a method of producing a human antibody by immunizing KM mice obtained by destroying the mouse antibody gene and introducing a human antibody gene (Itoh, K. et al., Jpn. J. Cancer Res., 92: 1313-1321, 2001; Koide, A. et al., J. Mol. Biol., 284: 1141-1151, 1998). These methods can also be applied to the production of the antibody of the present invention.

[0081] The antigen-binding fragment of the anti-podoplanin antibody according to the present invention may be expressed by the above-described method using DNA encoding the fragment. Alternatively, a full-length antibody may be obtained and then treated with an enzyme such as papain or pepsin to fragment it.

[0082] The anti-podoplanin antibody according to the present invention may be different in amino acid sequence, molecular weight, isoelectric point, presence/absence of glycans, conformation or the like, depending on the production method or purification method. However, the antibody thus obtained is embraced in the present invention insofar as it has a function equivalent to that of the anti-podoplanin antibody of the present invention. For example, the anti-podoplanin antibody of the present invention expressed in a prokaryotic cell such as E. coli has a methionine residue added to the N-terminal of the amino acid sequence of the original antibody. The present invention also embraces such an antibody.

[0083] When the anti-podoplanin antibody of the present invention is an antibody having an N-glycan having no fucose bound to N-acetylglucosamine at the reducing end, such an antibody can be produced by a known method or a method based thereon. A method of producing such an antibody is described, for example, in WO2002/031140 or Japanese Patent Application Publication No. 2009-225781, the disclosure of which is incorporated herein by reference in its entirety.

[0084] Specifically, for example, an intended anti-podoplanin antibody can be obtained by transforming cells, whose enzymatic activity involved in the synthesis of GDP-fucose or α-1,6-fucosyltransferase activity has been reduced or deleted, by using a vector containing DNA encoding the anti-podoplanin antibody of the present invention, culturing the transformant thus obtained, and then purifying it.

[0085] Examples of the enzyme involved in synthesis of GDP-fucose include GDP-mannose 4,6-dehydratase (GMP), GDP-keto-6-deoxymannose 3,5-epimerase, 4-reductase (Fx), and GDP-beta-L-fucose pyrophosphorylase (GFPP).

[0086] Here, the cells are not particularly limited, but are preferably mammalian cells. For example, CHO cells having the above-described enzymatic activity reduced or deleted may be used.

[0087] Although the antibody composition obtained by the above method may contain an antibody having fucose bound to N-acetylglucosamine at the reducing end, the percentage of the fucose-bound antibody in the whole antibody is 20 wt% or less, preferably 10 wt% or less, more preferably 5 wt% or less, most preferably 3 wt% or less.

[0088] Further, the antibody having an N-glycan in which no fucose is bound to N-acetylglucosamine at the reducing end thereof may also be obtained by introducing a vector containing DNA encoding the anti-podoplanin antibody of the present invention into insect eggs, hatching and growing the insects, crossbreeding them if necessary to produce a transgenic insect, and extracting an anti-podoplanin antibody from the transgenic insect or a secretion thereof. As the insect, a silkworm may be used. In this case, the antibody can be extracted from silkworm cocoons.

[0089] Although the antibody composition obtained using the above method may also contain an antibody having fucose bound to N-acetylglucosamine at the reducing end, the percentage of the fucose-bound antibody in the whole antibody is 20 wt% or less, preferably 10 wt% or less, more preferably 5 wt% or less, most preferably 3 wt% or less.

(Activity of the anti-podoplanin antibody of the present invention)



[0090] The drug efficacy mechanism of antibody drugs is based on two biological activities of an antibody. One of them is a target antigen-specific binding activity, which is an activity neutralizing the function of a target antigen molecule achieved by binding. Functional neutralization of the target antigen molecule is exhibited through a Fab region.

[0091] The other one is a biological activity of an antibody called "effector activity". The effector activity is exhibited as an antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity (ADCC), a complement-dependent cytotoxicity (CDC), direct induction of apoptosis, or the like through the Fc region of an antibody.

[0092] The activities of the anti-podoplanin antibody of the present invention can be measured in the following methods.

(1) Binding activity



[0093] The binding activity of an antibody can be measured by a known method, for example, ELISA (enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay), EIA (enzyme immunoassay), RIA (radioimmunoassay), a fluorescent antibody method, or an FACS method.

(2) ADCC Activity



[0094] The term "ADCC activity" means the following activity: when the anti-podoplanin antibody of the present invention binds to the cell surface antigen of target cells, Fcγ receptor-bearing cells (effector cells) bind to the Fc portion thereof through an Fcγ receptor and damage the target cells.

[0095] The ADCC activity can be known by mixing target cells in which podoplanin is expressed, effector cells, and the anti-podoplanin antibody of the present invention, and measuring the degree of ADCC. As the effector cells, for example, mouse splenocytes, or monocytes isolated from the human peripheral blood or bone marrow may be used. As the target cells, for example, podoplanin-positive mesothelioma cells or podoplanin-positive glioblastoma cells may be used. The activity can be measured by labeling target cells with 51Cr or the like in advance, adding the anti-podoplanin antibody of the present invention to the resulting cells, incubating the resulting mixture, adding effector cells to the target cells at a ratio adequate therefor, incubating the resulting mixture, collecting the supernatant, and then counting the label in the supernatant.

(3) CDC Activity



[0096] The term "CDC activity" means cellular cytotoxicity caused by a complement system.

[0097] The CDC activity can be measured in a manner similar to that used in the ADCC activity test except for the use of a complement instead of the effector cells.

(4) Tumor growth inhibitory activity



[0098] The tumor growth inhibitory activity can be measured using a tumor model animal. For example, a tumor is subcutaneously implanted into a mouse and the anti-podoplanin antibody of the present invention is administered thereto. A tumor growth inhibitory effect can be measured by comparing the volume of the tumor tissue between a non-administered group and an administered group.

[0099] The tumor growth inhibitory activity in the present invention may result from inhibition of the growth of individual cells or may result from induction of apoptosis.

(Pharmaceutical composition)



[0100] The anti-podoplanin antibody of the present invention may be used for prevention or treatment of a tumor that expresses podoplanin. A pharmaceutical composition according to one aspect of the present invention contains the anti-podoplanin antibody or antigen-binding fragment thereof according to the present invention as an effective ingredient and further contains a pharmacologically acceptable carrier or additive.

[0101] The anti-podoplanin antibody of the present invention may be used for delivery of a drug targeting tumor cells. The pharmaceutical composition according to the present invention may contain, as an effective ingredient, an anti-podoplanin antibody or antigen-binding fragment thereof to which a substance having an anti-cancer activity has been bound and it may further contain a pharmacologically acceptable carrier or additive.

[0102] Examples of the carrier or additive include, but are not limited to, water, saline, phosphate buffers, dextrose, pharmaceutically acceptable organic solvents such as glycerol and ethanol, collagen, polyvinyl alcohol, polyvinylpyrrolidone, carboxy vinyl polymers, carboxymethylcellulose sodium, sodium polyacrylate, sodium alginate, water-soluble dextran, sodium carboxymethyl starch, pectin, methylcellulose, ethylcellulose, xanthan gum, gum arabic, casein, agar, polyethylene glycol, diglycerin, glycerin, propylene glycol, petrolatum, paraffin, stearyl alcohol, stearic acid, human serum albumin, mannitol, sorbitol, lactose, and surfactants.

[0103] The pharmaceutical composition of the present invention may be provided in a variety of forms, for example, a solution (for example, an injection), a dispersion, a suspension, a tablet, a pill, a powder, or a suppository. A preferred form is an injection and parenteral administration (for example, intravenous, transdermal, intraperitoneal, or intramuscular administration) of it is preferred.

[0104] The pharmaceutical composition of the present invention is effective for the treatment of podoplanin-related diseases such as tumors, thrombosis, and arteriosclerosis.

[0105] Examples of podoplanin-related tumors include brain tumor, mesothelioma, testicular tumor, ovarian cancer, and squamous cancer. Examples of the squamous cancer include, but are not limited to, oral cancer, pharynx cancer, larynx cancer, esophageal cancer, lung cancer, skin cancer, and uterine cervical cancer.

[0106] The present invention also embraces a method of treating a podoplanin-related disease, which method includes administering a therapeutically effective amount of the anti-podoplanin antibody of the present invention.

[0107] The term "therapeutically effective amount" as used herein means an amount of an active substance capable of alleviating one or more symptoms of a disease to be treated to a certain extent. For an anti-cancer agent, it means an amount that causes at least one of reduction of a tumor size, inhibition (retardation or stopping) of tumor metastasis, inhibition (retardation or stopping) of tumor growth, and alleviation of one or more symptoms associated with cancer.

[0108] Specifically, the dose of the anti-podoplanin antibody of the present invention may be, for example, from 0.025 to 50 mg/kg, preferably from 0.1 to 50 mg/kg, more preferably from 0.1 to 25 mg/kg, still more preferably from 0.1 to 10 mg/kg or from 0.1 to 3 mg/kg, but is not limited thereto.

(Marker and diagnostic agent)



[0109] Podoplanin is highly expressed in certain tumor cells. The anti-podoplanin antibody of the present invention is useful in the diagnosis of cancer, particularly cancer in which podoplanin is highly expressed, such as brain tumor, mesothelioma, testicular tumor, ovarian cancer, and a variety of squamous cancers (oral cancer, pharynx cancer, larynx cancer, esophageal cancer, lung cancer, skin cancer, and uterine cervical cancer). The anti-podoplanin antibody of the present invention specifically binds to tumor cells so that it is particularly useful for their diagnosis.

[0110] The present invention also embraces a diagnostic agent of cancer containing the anti-podoplanin antibody of the present invention, use of the anti-podoplanin antibody of the present invention for the diagnosis of cancer, and a diagnostic method of cancer using the anti-podoplanin antibody of the present invention.

[0111] All the disclosures of Patent Documents and Non-patent Documents cited herein are incorporated by reference in its entirety.

[0112] The details of the anti-podoplanin antibody of the present invention described herein can also be understood as those of an antigen-binding fragment of the anti-podoplanin antibody of the present invention instead of the anti-podoplanin antibody of the present invention.

[Examples]



[0113] The present invention will hereinafter be described specifically based on Examples and Comparative Examples. The present invention is not limited to or by Examples. Those skilled in the art can change the present invention into various aspects without departing from the significance of the present invention. Such a change is also embraced within the scope of the present invention.

1. Establishment of anti-podoplanin antibody having novel glycopeptide epitope



[0114] Rats were each immunized with 1 x 108 LN229/hPDPN cells four times in total (once per 10 days). By ELISA (enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay), an antibody reacting with a recombinant protein purified from a cancer cell line was screened.

[0115] The cancer cell-specific anti-podoplanin antibody thus selected was named PMab-117 (rat IgM, kappa).

[0116] The recombinant protein was purified as described below.

[0117] Static culture of LN229/hPDPN cells was performed and 10 g of them in total was collected. To the resulting cells was added 10 mL of a 0.5% Triton/PBS solution and they were solubilized on ice by pipetting. The solution obtained by solubilization was centrifuged at 15,000 rpm for 30 minutes. The supernatant was added to 1 mL of an anti-FLAG antibody (M2) affinity column (product of Sigma Aldrich) and the resulting mixture was reacted at 4°C for 18 hours. The reaction product was washed three times with 10 mL of PBS. The recombinant protein adsorbed to the column was eluted by adding a 0.1 mg/mL FLAG peptide (product of Sigma Aldrich) in 1-mL portions. The absorbance at OD280 was measured, the fraction thus eluted was concentrated, and the final concentration was adjusted to 0.1 mg/mL.

[0118] ELISA was performed as follows.

[0119] Podoplanin purified (1 mg/mL) was immobilized on a 96 well plate (Nunc MaxiSorp; product of Thermo Fisher) at 37°C for 30 minutes, followed by blocking at 37°C for 30 minutes with SuperBlock/PBST (product of Thermo Fisher). Similarly, a mouse hybridoma-derived culture supernatant and anti-rat IgG-HRP (product of Dako) were reacted successively under conditions of 37°C and 30 minutes and color development was performed using TMB-Ultra (product of Thermo Fisher). The absorbance (OD: 655 nm) was measured using a microplate reader (product of Bio-Rad).

2. Flow cytometry using PMab-117



[0120] Reactivity of an anti-podoplanin antibody (PMab-117; rat IgM, kappa) with a podoplanin expressed cell line was studied by flow cytometry. First, PMab-117 (culture supernatant) was reacted at 4°C for 30 minutes with various human podoplanin-expressed cell lines and then, reacted further with an anti-rat IgG-Oregon Green antibody (product of Thermo Fisher) at 4°C for 30 minutes. As a negative control, only a secondary antibody was used.

[0121] Fluorescence intensity was measured using EC800 (product of Sony). The results are shown in Fig. 2.

[0122] PMab-117 shows high reactivity with podoplanin on cancer cells such as glioblastoma (LN319) or lung cancer (PC-10) but shows no reactivity with renal epithelial cells (HEK-293T). On the other hand, the anti-podoplanin antibody NZ-1 shows high reactivity with not only LN319 or PC-10 but also HEK-293T. The results have revealed that PMab-117 is a cancer cell-specific antibody.

3. Preparation of human chimeric PMab-117 (chPMab-117) and determination of amino acid sequence and base sequence of antibody gene



[0123] From 1 ×106 hybridoma cells of an anti-podoplanin antibody (PMab-117, rat IgM, kappa), a total RNA was extracted using a QIAGEN RNeasy mini kit (product of QIAGEN). From 1 µg of the total RNA, cDNA synthesis was performed using a SuperScript III First-Strand Syntheses kit (product of Thermo Fisher). The cDNA was used as a template in the following experiment.

[0124] For the preparation of human chimeric PMab-117 (chPMab-117), a DNA encoding the VH region of PMab-117 was amplified by PCR and inserted into a pCAG vector having thereon a DNA encoding CH1, hinge, CH2 and CH3 regions of human IgG1 (pCAG-CHhG1/PMab-117HVH(G418)). A DNA encoding the VL region of PMab-117 was amplified by PCR and was inserted into a pCAG vector having thereon a DNA encoding the CK region of a human kappa chain (pCAG-hlgCKb/PMab-117LVL(zeocin)).

[0125] For amplification of the H chain, the following primers were used.

InF.HindIII-chP117H: CGGTATCGAT AAGCTTAGTA TGTTGGTGCT GCAG (SEQ ID NO: 17)

InFr.chP117HVH-BamHI: GGCCCTTGGT GGATCCTGAA GAGACAGTGA CCAG (SEQ ID NO: 18)



[0126] For amplification of the L chain, the following primers were used.

InF.HindIII-P117L: CGGTATCGATAAGCTTAAAATGAAAGTGCCTGTTAG (SEQ ID NO: 19)

InFr.chP117LVL-BamHI: ATGGTGCAGCGGATCCCCGTTTTATTTCCAACTTC (SEQ ID NO: 20)



[0127] For PCR reaction, QIAGEN HotStar HiFidelity Polymerase Kit (product of QIAGEN) was used. The reaction was made under the following temperature conditions: first at 95°C for 5 minutes, next 35 cycles of 94°C for 15 seconds, 50°C for one minute, and 72°C for one minute, and then at 72°C for 10 minutes. The amplified PCR product was purified in a QIAGEN PCR purification kit and the basic sequence was determined from the vector primer.

[0128] The amino acid sequence was predicted from the base sequence. The heavy chain DNA sequence, light chain DNA sequence, heavy chain amino acid sequence, and light chain amino acid sequence of chPMab-117 are shown as SEQ ID NOS: 13, 14, 8, and 9, respectively, in Figs. 3 to 6.

<CDR of PMab-117>



[0129] The heavy chains CDR1 to 3 and the light chains CDR1 to 3 of PMab-117 had the following amino acid sequences as shown in SEQ ID NOS: 2 to 7.

Heavy chain CDR1: GFTFSNAAMY (SEQ ID NO: 2)

Heavy chain CDR2: RIRSKPNNYATYYTDSVKG (SEQ ID NO: 3)

Heavy chain CDR3: TVGGNNYAAAY (SEQ ID NO: 4)

Light chain CDR1: RSSQSLVHSNGNTYLE (SEQ ID NO: 5)

Light chain CDR2: KVSNRFS (SEQ ID NO: 6)

Light chain CDR3: FQVTHDPFT (SEQ ID NO: 7).


4. Flow cytometry using chPMab-117



[0130] Reactivity of human chimeric PMab-117 (chPMAb-117) with a podoplanin expressed cell line was studied by flow cytometry. First, chPMab-117 (10 µg/mL) was reacted at 4°C for 30 minutes with various human podoplanin-expressed cell lines and further, the reaction products were each reacted with an anti-rat IgG-Oregon Green antibody (product of Thermo Fisher) and an anti-human IgG-FITC antibody (product of Thermo Fisher) at 4°C for 30 minutes. As a negative control, only a secondary antibody was used.

[0131] Fluorescence intensity was measured using EC800 (product of Sony). The results are shown in Fig. 7.

[0132] The chPMab-117 shows high reactivity with podoplanin on cancer cells such as glioblastoma (LN319) or lung cancer (PC-10) but shows no reactivity with renal epithelial cells (HEK-293T) exhibiting strong podoplanin expression. Similar to the results of PMab-117 (Fig. 2), it has revealed that chPMab-117 is a cancer cell-specific antibody.

5. Preparation of mouse chimeric PMab-117 (chPMab117-mG2a)



[0133] The H-chain and L-chain variable regions of PMab-117 and the constant region of mouse IgG2a were inserted into a pCAG vector (product of InvivoGen) and a mouse chimeric PMab-117(chPMab117-mG2a) expression plasmid was prepared.

[0134] For amplification of the H chain, the following primers were used.

InF.HindIII-chP117H: CGGTATCGAT AAGCTTAGTA TGTTGGTGCT GCAG (SEQ ID NO: 17)

InFr.P117HVH-mG2a: GGCTGTTGTT TTGGCTGAAG AGACAGTGAC CAGA (SEQ ID NO: 21)



[0135] For amplification of the L chain, the following primers were used.

InF.HindIII-P117L: CGGTATCGATAAGCTTAAAATGAAAGTGCCTGTTAG (SEQ ID NO: 19)

InF.mIgCKter-NotI: TCTAGAGTCG CGGCCGCCTAACACTCATTC CTGT (SEQ ID NO: 22)



[0136] The heavy chain DNA sequence, the light chain DNA sequence, the heavy chain amino acid sequence and the light chain amino acid sequence of chPMab117-mG2a are shown in Figs. 8 to 11 as SEQ ID NOS: 15, 16, 10, and 11, respectively.

6. Flow cytometry using chPMab117-mG2a



[0137] Plasmids of the H chain and the L chain of chPMab117-mG2a were introduced into ExpiCHO cell lines (product of Thermo Fisher) by lipofection and a recombinant antibody of chPMab117-mG2a was expressed in the culture supernatant. The culture supernatant was collected two days after gene introduction. It was reacted with LN 319 cells at 4°C for 30 minutes and was then reacted further with an anti-mouse IgG-FITC antibody (product of Thermo Fisher) at 4°C for 30 minutes. As a negative control, only a secondary antibody was used.

[0138] The fluorescence intensity was measured using Cell Analyzer EC800 (product of Sony). The results are shown in Fig. 12.

[0139] Similar to chPMab117, chPMab117-mG2a shows high reactivity with podoplanin of glioblastoma cells (LN319).

7. Epitope analysis 1 of PMab-117



[0140] Since PMab-117 was found to be a cancer specific antibody (CasMab), the recognition sequence (epitope) of it was analyzed.

[0141] The following are N-terminal deletion mutants of human podoplanin.
dN23: N-terminal 23rd amino acid full-length podoplanin.
dN37: N-terminal 37th amino acid deletion mutant.
dN46: N-terminal 46th amino acid deletion mutant.
dN55: N-terminal 55th amino acid deletion mutant.
dN65: N-terminal 65th amino acid deletion mutant.
dN75: N-terminal 75th amino acid deletion mutant.
dN85: N-terminal 85th amino acid deletion mutant.
dN95: N-terminal 95th amino acid deletion mutant.

[0142] The above deletion mutants were each reacted with PMab-117 (culture supernatant) and chPMab-117 (10 µg/mL) at 4°C for 30 minutes and then reacted further with an anti-rat IgG-Oregon Green antibody (product of Thermo Fisher) and an anti-human IgG-FITC antibody (product of Thermo Fisher) at 4°C for 30 minutes. As a negative control, only a secondary antibody was used.

[0143] The fluorescence intensity was measured using EC800 (product of Sony). The results are shown in Figs. 13 and 14.

[0144] Disappearance of reactivity with dN85 (N-terminal 85th amino acid deletion mutant) has revealed that the N-terminal of the epitope of PMab-117 starts from between 75th to 85th amino acids.

8. Epitope analysis 2 of PMab-117



[0145] Various glycan-deficient cell lines of human podoplanin were reacted with PMab-117 (culture supernatant) and chPMab-117 (10 µg/mL) at 4°C for 30 minutes and then reacted further with an anti-rat IgG-Oregon Green antibody (product of Thermo Fisher) and an anti-human IgG-FITC antibody (product of Thermo Fisher) at 4°C for 30 minutes. As a negative control, only a secondary antibody was used.

[0146] The fluorescence intensity was measured using EC800 (product of Sony). The results are shown in Fig. 15.

[0147] Reactivity with a sialic acid deficient cell line or galactose deficient cell line of human podoplanin disappeared, suggesting that the epitope of PMab-117 contains sialic acid added to an O-glycan.

9. Epitope analysis 3 of PMab-117



[0148] Human podoplanin obtained by substituting all the Ser/Thr after 75th amino acid with alanine was reacted with each of PMab-117 (culture supernatant) and chPMab-117 (10 µg/ml) at 4°C for 30 minutes and then reacted further with an anti-rat IgG-Oregon Green antibody (product of Thermo Fisher) and an anti-human IgG-FITC antibody (product of Thermo Fisher) at 4°C for 30 minutes. As a negative control, only a secondary antibody was used and as a positive control, NZ-12 was used.

[0149] The fluorescence intensity was measured using EC800 (product of Sony). The results are shown in Fig. 16.

[0150] Disappearance of reactivity of PMab-117 with T85A has revealed that the epitope of PMab-117 contains Thr85.

10. Epitope analysis 4 of PMab-117



[0151] Human podoplanin obtained by substituting all the 77th to 89th amino acids with alanine was reacted with each of PMab-117 (10 µg/mL) and chPMAb-117 (10 µg/mL) at 4°C for 30 minutes and then reacted further with an anti-rat IgG-Oregon Green antibody (product of Thermo Fisher) and an anti-human IgG-FITC antibody (product of Thermo Fisher) at 4°C for 30 minutes. As a negative control, only a secondary antibody was used and as a positive control, NZ-12 was used.

[0152] The fluorescence intensity was measured using EC800 (product of Sony). The results are shown in Fig. 17.

[0153] The reactivity of PMab-117 with I78A, I80A, D82A, and T85A disappeared, while the reactivity of PMab-117 with E81A became weak. The reactivity of chPMab-117 with I78A, I80A, E81A, D82A, and T85A disappeared. The results have revealed that the epitope of PMab-117 contains five amino acids, that is, Ile78, Ile80, Glu81, Asp82, and Thr85.

[0154] Fig. 15 shows that the epitope of PMab-117 contains a sialylated O-glycan and further, as shown in Fig. 16, Thr85 of human podoplanin is contained in the epitope of PMab-117. This suggests that Thr85 to which a sialylated O-glycan has been added is essential for the epitope of PMab-117. Further, amino acids around Thr85 were substituted with alanine and reactivity of PMab-117, chPMab-117, and NZ-12 was studied. Fig. 17 reveals that five amino acids, that is, Ile78, Ile80, Glu81, Asp82, and Thr85 are particularly important as the epitope of PMab-117.

[0155] It has been understood from the above results that a Thr85-containing glycopeptide of human podoplanin is an important target showing cancer specificity.

[Industrial Applicability]



[0156] The anti-podoplanin antibody and antigen-binding fragment thereof according to the present invention are useful as a drug, a diagnostic agent, and a reagent and have industrial applicability.

[Sequence Listing Free Text]



[0157] 

SEQ ID NO: 1 represents the amino acid sequence of human podoplanin.

SEQ ID NO: 2 represents the amino acid sequence of heavy chain CDR1 of PMab-117.

SEQ ID NO: 3 represents the amino acid sequence of heavy chain CDR2 of PMab-117.

SEQ ID NO: 4 represents the amino acid sequence of heavy chain CDR3 of PMab-117.

SEQ ID NO: 5 represents the amino acid sequence of light chain CDR1 of PMab-117.

SEQ ID NO: 6 represents the amino acid sequence of light chain CDR2 of PMab-117.

SEQ ID NO: 7 represents the amino acid sequence of light chain CDR3 of PMab-117.

SEQ ID NO: 8 represents the heavy-chain amino acid sequence of chPMab-117.

SEQ ID NO: 9 represents the light-chain amino acid sequence of chPMab-117.

SEQ ID NO: 10 represents the heavy-chain amino acid sequence of chPMab117-mG2a.

SEQ ID NO: 11 represents the light-chain amino acid sequence of chPMab117-mG2a.

SEQ ID NO: 12 represents an amino acid sequence corresponding to the 78th to 85th region of the amino acid sequence of human podoplanin represented by SEQ ID NO: 1.

SEQ ID NO: 13 represents the heavy chain DNA sequence of chPMab-117.

SEQ ID NO: 14 represents the light chain DNA sequence of chPMab-117.

SEQ ID NO: 15 represents the heavy chain DNA sequence of chPMab117-mG2a.

SEQ ID NO: 16 represents the light chain DNA sequence of chPMab117-mG2a.

SEQ ID NO: 17 represents the primer InF.HindIII-chP117H used for amplification of the H chain.

SEQ ID NO: 18 represents the primer InFr.chP117HVH-BamHI used for amplification of the H chain.

SEQ ID NO: 19 represents the primer InF.HindIII-P117L used for amplification of the L chain.

SEQ ID NO: 20 represents the primer InFr.chP117LVL-BamHI used for amplification of the L chain.

SEQ ID NO: 21 represents the primer InFr.P117HVH-mG2a used for amplification of the H chain.

SEQ ID NO: 22 represents the primer InF.mIgCKter-NotI used for amplification of the L chain.
































Claims

1. A cancer cell-specific anti-podoplanin antibody or antigen-binding fragment thereof, having an epitope in a Thr85-containing region in an amino acid sequence of human podoplanin represented by SEQ ID NO: 1, the Thr85 having a sialylated O-glycan added thereto.
 
2. The cancer cell-specific anti-podoplanin antibody or antigen-binding fragment thereof according to Claim 1, wherein the epitope is in a 78th to 85th region (IRIEDLPT) of the amino acid sequence of human podoplanin represented by SEQ ID NO: 1.
 
3. A cancer cell-specific anti-podoplanin antibody or antigen-binding fragment thereof, comprising:

at least one of the following six CDR amino acid sequences,

at least one of amino acid sequences obtained by addition, substitution or deletion of one to several amino acids from the following six CDR amino acid sequences, or

at least one of amino acid sequences having 80% or more identity to the following six CDR amino acid sequences:

heavy chain CDR1: GFTFSNAAMY (SEQ ID NO: 2)

heavy chain CDR2: RIRSKPNNYATYYTDSVKG (SEQ ID NO: 3)

heavy chain CDR3: TVGGNNYAAAY (SEQ ID NO: 4)

light chain CDR1: RSSQSLVHSNGNTYLE (SEQ ID NO: 5) light chain CDR2: KVSNRFS (SEQ ID NO: 6)

light chain CDR3: FQVTHDPFT (SEQ ID NO: 7).


 
4. A cancer cell-specific anti-podoplanin antibody or antigen-binding fragment thereof, comprising:

a heavy chain having an amino acid sequence represented by SEQ ID NO: 8 or 10;

a heavy chain having an amino acid sequence obtained by addition, substitution or deletion of one to several amino acids from the amino acid sequence represented by SEQ ID NO: 8 or 10;

a heavy chain having an amino acid sequence having 80% or more identity to the amino acid sequence represented by SEQ ID NO: 8 or 10;

a light chain having an amino acid sequence represented by SEQ ID NO: 9 or 11;

a light chain having an amino acid sequence obtained by addition, substitution or deletion of one to several amino acids from the amino acid sequence represented by SEQ ID NO: 9 or 11, or

a light chain having an amino acid sequence having 80% or more identity to the amino acid sequence represented by SEQ ID NO: 9 or 11.


 
5. The cancer cell-specific anti-podoplanin antibody or antigen-binding fragment thereof according to any one of Claims 1 to 4, having one or more N-glycans bound to an Fc region thereof and having no fucose bound to N-acetylglucosamine at a reducing end of the N-glycan(s).
 
6. A nucleic acid encoding any one of the amino acid sequences as claimed in Claim 3 or 4.
 
7. An expression vector, comprising the nucleic acid as claimed in Claim 6.
 
8. A transformant, comprising the expression vector as claimed in Claim 7.
 
9. A pharmaceutical composition, comprising, as an effective ingredient thereof, the cancer cell-specific anti-podoplanin antibody or antigen-binding fragment thereof as claimed in any one of Claims 1 to 5.
 
10. A pharmaceutical composition, comprising, as an effective ingredient thereof, the cancer cell-specific anti-podoplanin antibody or antigen-binding fragment thereof as claimed in any one of Claims 1 to 5 to which a substance having an anti-cancer activity has been bound.
 
11. The pharmaceutical composition according to Claim 9 or 10, which is a preventive or treatment agent of tumor.
 
12. Human podoplanin, comprising an amino acid sequence represented by SEQ ID NO: 1 and having Thr85 to which a sialylated O-glycan has been added.
 
13. A glycopeptide, comprising the following amino acid sequence: IRIEDLPT and having Thr to which a sialylated O-glycan has been added.
 




Drawing


























































REFERENCES CITED IN THE DESCRIPTION



This list of references cited by the applicant is for the reader's convenience only. It does not form part of the European patent document. Even though great care has been taken in compiling the references, errors or omissions cannot be excluded and the EPO disclaims all liability in this regard.

Patent documents cited in the description




Non-patent literature cited in the description