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Title:  Antibodies to human chemokine beta-9
United States Patent: 
7,097,985
Issued: 
August 29, 2006

Inventors: 
Li; Haodong (Gaithersburg, MD), Adams; Mark D. (Rockville, MD)
Assignee: 
Human Genome Sciences, Inc. (Rockville, MD)
Appl. No.:  10/329,472
Filed: 
December 27, 2002


 

Executive MBA in Pharmaceutical Management, U. Colorado


Abstract

Human Ck.beta.-9 polypeptides and DNA (RNA) encoding such chemokine polypeptides and a procedure for producing such polypeptides by recombinant techniques is disclosed. Also disclosed are methods for utilizing such Ck.beta.-9 polypeptides for the treatment of leukemia, tumors, chronic infections, autoimmune disease, fibrotic disorders, wound healing and psoriasis. Antagonists against such polypeptides and their use as a therapeutic to treat rheumatoid arthritis, autoimmune and chronic inflammatory and infective diseases, allergic reactions, prostaglandin-independent fever and bone marrow failure are also disclosed. Diagnostic assays are also disclosed which detect the presence of mutations in the Ck.beta.-9 coding sequence and over-expression of the Ck.beta.-9 protein.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

In accordance with an aspect of the present invention, there are provided isolated nucleic acids (polynucleotides) which encode for the mature polypeptides having the deduced amino acid sequences of FIG. 1 (SEQ ID NO:2) or for the mature polypeptide encoded by the cDNA of the clones deposited with the American Type Culture Collection (ATCC), 10801 University Boulevard, Manassas, Va. 20110-2209 (present address) as ATCC Deposit No. 75803 on Jun. 7, 1994.

The polynucleotide encoding Ck.beta.-9 was discovered in a cDNA library derived from a human breast lymph node. Ck.beta.-9 is structurally related to the chemokine family. It contains an open reading frame encoding a protein of 134 amino acid residues of which approximately the first 23 amino acids residues are the putative leader sequence such that the mature protein comprises 111 amino acids. The protein exhibits the highest degree of homology to eotaxin with 32% identity and 69% similarity over a stretch of 75 amino acid residues. It is also important that the four spatially conserved cysteine residues in chemokines are found in the polypeptides of the present invention.

The polynucleotides of the present invention may be in the form of RNA or in the form of DNA, which DNA includes cDNA, genomic DNA, and synthetic DNA. The DNA may be double-stranded or single-stranded, and if single stranded may be the coding strand or non-coding (anti-sense) strand. The coding sequence which encodes the mature polypeptides may be identical to the coding sequence shown in FIG. 1 (SEQ ID NO:1) or that of the deposited clones or may be a different coding sequence which coding sequence, as a result of the redundancy or degeneracy of the genetic code, encodes the same mature polypeptides as the DNA of FIG. 1 (SEQ ID NO:1) or the deposited cDNA.

The polynucleotides which encodes for the mature polypeptides of FIG. 1 (SEQ ID NO:2) or for the mature polypeptides encoded by the deposited cDNA may include: only the coding sequence for the mature polypeptide; the coding sequence for the mature polypeptide and additional coding sequence such as a leader or secretory sequence or a proprotein sequence; the coding sequence for the mature polypeptide (and optionally additional coding sequence) and non-coding sequence, such as introns or non-coding sequence 5' and/or 3' of the coding sequence for the mature polypeptides.

Thus, the term "polynucleotide encoding a polypeptide" encompasses a polynucleotide which includes only coding sequence for the polypeptide as well as a polynucleotide which includes additional coding and/or non-coding sequence.

The present invention further relates to variants of the hereinabove described polynucleotides which encode for fragments, analogs and derivatives of the polypeptide having the deduced amino acid sequence of FIG. 1 (SEQ ID NO:2) or the polypeptide encoded by the cDNA of the deposited clones. The variant of the polynucleotides may be a naturally occurring allelic variant of the polynucleotides or a non-naturally occurring variant of the polynucleotides.

Thus, the present invention includes polynucleotides encoding the same mature polypeptides as shown in FIG. 1 (SEQ ID NO:2) or the same mature polypeptides encoded by the cDNA of the deposited clones as well as variants of such polynucleotides which variants encode for a fragment, derivative or analog of the polypeptides of FIG. 1 (SEQ ID NO:2) or the polypeptides encoded by the cDNA of the deposited clones. Such nucleotide variants include deletion variants, substitution variants and addition or insertion variants.

As hereinabove indicated, the polynucleotides may have a coding sequence which is a naturally occurring allelic variant of the coding sequence shown in FIG. 1 (SEQ ID NO:2) or of the coding sequence of the deposited clones. As known in the art, an allelic variant is an alternate form of a polynucleotide sequence which may have a substitution, deletion or addition of one or more nucleotides, which does not substantially alter the function of the encoded polypeptide.

The present invention also includes polynucleotides, wherein the coding sequence for the mature polypeptides may be fused in the same reading frame to a polynucleotide sequence which aids in expression and secretion of a polypeptide from a host cell, for example, a leader sequence which functions as a secretory sequence for controlling transport of a polypeptide from the cell. The polypeptide having a leader sequence is a preprotein and may have the leader sequence cleaved by the host cell to form the mature form of the polypeptide. The polynucleotides may also encode for a proprotein which is the mature protein plus additional 5' amino acid residues. A mature protein having a prosequence is a proprotein and is an inactive form of the protein. Once the prosequence is cleaved an active mature protein remains.

Thus, for example, the polynucleotide of the present invention may encode for a mature protein, or for a protein having a prosequence or for a protein having both a prosequence and a presequence (leader sequence).

The polynucleotides of the present invention may also have the coding sequence fused in frame to a marker sequence which allows for purification of the polypeptides of the present invention. The marker sequence may be a hexa-histidine tag supplied by a pQE-9 vector to provide for purification of the mature polypeptides fused to the marker in the case of a bacterial host, or, for example, the marker sequence may be a hemagglutinin (HA) tag when a mammalian host, e.g. COS-7 cells, is used. The HA tag corresponds to an epitope derived from the influenza hemagglutinin protein (Wilson, I., et al., Cell, 37:767 (1984)).

The term "gene" means the segment of DNA involved in producing a polypeptide chain; it includes regions preceding and following the coding region (leader and trailer) as well as intervening sequences (introns) between individual coding segments (exons).

Fragments of the full length gene of the present invention may be used as a hybridization probe for a cDNA library to isolate the full length cDNA and to isolate other cDNAs which have a high sequence similarity to the gene or similar biological activity. Probes of this type preferably have at least 30 bases and may contain, for example, 50 or more bases. The probe may also be used to identify a cDNA clone corresponding to a full length transcript and a genomic clone or clones that contain the complete gene including regulatory and promoter regions, exons, and introns. An example of a screen comprises isolating the coding region of the gene by using the known DNA sequence to synthesize an oligonucleotide probe. Labeled oligonucleotides having a sequence complementary to that of the gene of the present invention are used to screen a library of human cDNA, genomic DNA or mRNA to determine which members of the library the probe hybridizes to.

The present invention further relates to polynucleotides which hybridize to the hereinabove-described sequences if there is at least 70%, preferably at least 90%, and more preferably at least 95% identity between the sequences. The present invention particularly relates to polynucleotides which hybridize under stringent conditions to the hereinabove-described polynucleotides. As herein used, the term "stringent conditions" means hybridization will occur only if there is at least 95% and preferably at least 97% identity between the sequences. The polynucleotides which hybridize to the hereinabove described polynucleotides in a preferred embodiment encode polypeptides which either retain substantially the same biological function or activity as the mature polypeptide encoded by the cDNAs of FIG. 1 (SEQ ID NO:1) or the deposited cDNA(s).

Alternatively, the polynucleotide may have at least 20 bases, preferably 30 bases, and more preferably at least 50 bases which hybridize to a polynucleotide of the present invention and which has an identity thereto, as hereinabove described, and which may or may not retain activity. For example, such polynucleotides may be employed as probes for the polynucleotide of SEQ ID NO:1, for example, for recovery of the polynucleotide or as a diagnostic probe or as a PCR primer.

Thus, the present invention is directed to polynucleotides having at least a 70% identity, preferably at least 90% and more preferably at least a 95% identity to a polynucleotide which encodes the polypeptide of SEQ ID NO:2 as well as fragments thereof, which fragments have at least 30 bases and preferably at least 50 bases and to polypeptides encoded by such polynucleotides.

The deposit(s) referred to herein will be maintained under the terms of the Budapest Treaty on the International Recognition of the Deposit of Micro-organisms for purposes of Patent Procedure. These deposits are provided merely as convenience to those of skill in the art and are not an admission that a deposit is required under 35 U.S.C. .sctn.112. The sequence of the polynucleotides contained in the deposited materials, as well as the amino acid sequence of the polypeptides encoded thereby, are incorporated herein by reference and are controlling in the event of any conflict with any description of sequences herein. A license may be required to make, use or sell the deposited materials, and no such license is hereby granted.

The present invention further relates to chemokine polypeptides which have the deduced amino acid sequences of FIG. 1 (SEQ ID NO:2) or which has the amino acid sequence encoded by the deposited cDNA, as well as fragments, analogs and derivatives of such polypeptides.

The terms "fragment," "derivative" and "analog" when referring to the polypeptides of FIG. 1 (SEQ ID NO:2) or that encoded by the deposited cDNA, means polypeptides which retain essentially the same biological function or activity as such polypeptides. Thus, an analog includes a proprotein which can be activated by cleavage of the proprotein portion to produce an active mature polypeptide.

The chemokine polypeptides of the present invention may be recombinant polypeptides, natural polypeptides or a synthetic polypeptides, preferably recombinant polypeptides.

The fragment, derivative or analog of the polypeptides of FIG. 1 (SEQ ID NO:2) or that encoded by the deposited cDNA may be (i) one in which one or more of the amino acid residues are substituted with a conserved or non-conserved amino acid residue (preferably a conserved amino acid residue) and such substituted amino acid residue may or may not be one encoded by the genetic code, or (ii) one in which one or more of the amino acid residues includes a substituent group, or (iii) one in which the mature polypeptide is fused with another compound, such as a compound to increase the half-life of the polypeptide (for example, polyethylene glycol), or (iv) one in which the additional amino acids are fused to the mature polypeptide, such as a leader or secretory sequence or a sequence which is employed for purification of the mature polypeptide or a proprotein sequence. Such fragments, derivatives and analogs are deemed to be within the scope of those skilled in the art from the teachings herein.

The polypeptides and polynucleotides of the present invention are preferably provided in an isolated form, and preferably are purified to homogeneity.

The term "isolated" means that the material is removed from its original environment (e.g., the natural environment if it is naturally occurring). For example, a naturally-occurring polynucleotide or polypeptide present in a living animal is not isolated, but the same polynucleotide or polypeptide, separated from some or all of the coexisting materials in the natural system, is isolated. Such polynucleotides could be part of a vector and/or such polynucleotides or polypeptides could be part of a composition, and still be isolated in that such vector or composition is not part of its natural environment.

The polypeptides of the present invention include the polypeptide of SEQ ID NO:2 (in particular the mature polypeptide) as well as polypeptides which have at least 70% similarity (preferably at least 70% identity) to the polypeptide of SEQ ID NO:2 and more preferably at least 90% similarity (more preferably at least 90% identity) to the polypeptide of SEQ ID NO:2 and still more preferably at least 95% similarity (still more preferably at least 90% identity) to the polypeptide of SEQ ID NO:2 and also include portions of such polypeptides with such portion of the polypeptide generally containing at least 30 amino acids and more preferably at least 50 amino acids.

As known in the art "similarity" between two polypeptides is determined by comparing the amino acid sequence and its conserved amino acid substitutes of one polypeptide to the sequence of a second polypeptide.

Fragments or portions of the polypeptides of the present invention may be employed for producing the corresponding full-length polypeptide by peptide synthesis; therefore, the fragments may be employed as intermediates for producing the full-length polypeptides. Fragments or portions of the polynucleotides of the present invention may be used to synthesize full-length polynucleotides of the present invention.

The present invention also relates to vectors which include polynucleotides of the present invention, host cells which are genetically engineered with vectors of the invention and the production of polypeptides of the invention by recombinant techniques.

Host cells are genetically engineered (transduced or transformed or transfected) with the vectors of this invention which may be, for example, a cloning vector or an expression vector. The vector may be, for example, in the form of a plasmid, a viral particle, a phage, etc. The engineered host cells can be cultured in conventional nutrient media modified as appropriate for activating promoters, selecting transformants or amplifying the Ck.beta.-9 genes. The culture conditions, such as temperature, pH and the like, are those previously used with the host cell selected for expression, and will be apparent to the ordinarily skilled artisan.

The polynucleotides of the present invention may be employed for producing polypeptides by recombinant techniques. Thus, for example, the polynucleotide may be included in any one of a variety of expression vectors for expressing a polypeptide. Such vectors include chromosomal, nonchromosomal and synthetic DNA sequences, e.g., derivatives of SV40; bacterial plasmids; phage DNA; baculovirus; yeast plasmids; vectors derived from combinations of plasmids and phage DNA, viral DNA such as vaccinia, adenovirus, fowl pox virus, and pseudorabies. However, any other vector may be used as long as it is replicable and viable in the host.

The appropriate DNA sequence may be inserted into the vector by a variety of procedures. In general, the DNA sequence is inserted into an appropriate restriction endonuclease site(s) by procedures known in the art. Such procedures and others are deemed to be within the scope of those skilled in the art.

The DNA sequence in the expression vector is operatively linked to an appropriate expression control sequence(s) (promoter) to direct mRNA synthesis. As representative examples of such promoters, there may be mentioned: LTR or SV40 promoter, the E. coli. lac or trp, the phage lambda P.sub.L promoter and other promoters known to control expression of genes in prokaryotic or eukaryotic cells or their viruses. The expression vector also contains a ribosome binding site for translation initiation and a transcription terminator. The vector may also include appropriate sequences for amplifying expression.

In addition, the expression vectors preferably contain one or more selectable marker genes to provide a phenotypic trait for selection of transformed host cells such as dihydrofolate reductase or neomycin resistance for eukaryotic cell culture, or such as tetracycline or ampicillin resistance in E. coli.

The vector containing the appropriate DNA sequence as hereinabove described, as well as an appropriate promoter or control sequence, may be employed to transform an appropriate host to permit the host to express the protein.

As representative examples of appropriate hosts, there may be mentioned: bacterial cells, such as E. coli, Streptomyces, Salmonella typhimurium; fungal cells, such as yeast; insect cells such as Drosophila S2 and Spodoptera Sf9; animal cells such as CHO, COS or Bowes melanoma; adenoviruses; plant cells, etc. The selection of an appropriate host is deemed to be within the scope of those skilled in the art from the teachings herein.

More particularly, the present invention also includes recombinant constructs comprising one or more of the sequences as broadly described above. The constructs comprise a vector, such as a plasmid or viral vector, into which a sequence of the invention has been inserted, in a forward or reverse orientation. In a preferred aspect of this embodiment, the construct further comprises regulatory sequences, including, for example, a promoter, operably linked to the sequence. Large numbers of suitable vectors and promoters are known to those of skill in the art, and are commercially available. The following vectors are provided by way of example. Bacterial: pQE70, pQE60, pQE-9 (Qiagen), pBS, pD10, phagescript, psiX174, pBluescript SK, pBSKS, pNH8A, pNH16a, pNH18A, pNH46A (Stratagene); ptrc99a, pKK223-3, pKK233-3, pDR540, pRIT5 (Pharmacia). Eukaryotic: pWLNEO, pSV2CAT, pOG44, pXT1, pSG (Stratagene) pSVK3, pBPV, pMSG, pSVL (Pharmacia). However, any other plasmid or vector may be used as long as they are replicable and viable in the host.

Promoter regions can be selected from any desired gene using CAT (chloramphenicol transferase) vectors or other vectors with selectable markers. Two appropriate vectors are pKK232-8 and pCM7. Particular named bacterial promoters include lacI, lacZ, T3, T7, gpt, lambda P.sub.R, P.sub.L and trp. Eukaryotic promoters include CMV immediate early, HSV thymidine kinase, early and late SV40, LTRs from retrovirus, and mouse metallothionein-I. Selection of the appropriate vector and promoter is well within the level of ordinary skill in the art.

In a further embodiment, the present invention relates to host cells containing the above-described constructs. The host cell can be a higher eukaryotic cell, such as a mammalian cell, or a lower eukaryotic cell, such as a yeast cell, or the host cell can be a prokaryotic cell, such as a bacterial cell. Introduction of the construct into the host cell can be effected by calcium phosphate transfection, DEAE-Dextran mediated transfection, or electroporation (Davis, L., Dibner, M., Battey, I., Basic Methods in Molecular Biology, (1986)).

The constructs in host cells can be used in a conventional manner to produce the gene product encoded by the recombinant sequence. Alternatively, the polypeptides of the invention can be synthetically produced by conventional peptide synthesizers.

Mature proteins can be expressed in mammalian cells, yeast, bacteria, or other cells under the control of appropriate promoters. Cell-free translation systems can also be employed to produce such proteins using RNAs derived from the DNA constructs of the present invention. Appropriate cloning and expression vectors for use with prokaryotic and eukaryotic hosts are described by Sambrook, et al., Molecular Cloning: A Laboratory Manual, Second Edition, Cold Spring Harbor, N.Y., (1989), the disclosure of which is hereby incorporated by reference.

Transcription of the DNA encoding the polypeptides of the present invention by higher eukaryotes is increased by inserting an enhancer sequence into the vector. Enhancers are cis-acting elements of DNA, usually about from 10 to 300 bp that act on a promoter to increase its transcription. Examples including the SV40 enhancer on the late side of the replication origin bp 100 to 270, a cytomegalovirus early promoter enhancer, the polyoma enhancer on the late side of the replication origin, and adenovirus enhancers.

Generally, recombinant expression vectors will include origins of replication and selectable markers permitting transformation of the host cell, e.g., the ampicillin resistance gene of E. coli and S. cerevisiae TRP1 gene, and a promoter derived from a highly-expressed gene to direct transcription of a downstream structural sequence. Such promoters can be derived from operons encoding glycolytic enzymes such as 3-phosphoglycerate kinase (PGK), .alpha.-factor, acid phosphatase, or heat shock proteins, among others. The heterologous structural sequence is assembled in appropriate phase with translation initiation and termination sequences, and preferably, a leader sequence capable of directing secretion of translated protein into the periplasmic space or extracellular medium. Optionally, the heterologous sequence can encode a fusion protein including an N-terminal identification peptide imparting desired characteristics, e.g., stabilization or simplified purification of expressed recombinant product.

Useful expression vectors for bacterial use are constructed by inserting a structural DNA sequence encoding a desired protein together with suitable translation initiation and termination signals in operable reading phase with a functional promoter. The vector will comprise one or more phenotypic selectable markers and an origin of replication to ensure maintenance of the vector and to, if desirable, provide amplification within the host. Suitable prokaryotic hosts for transformation include E. coli, Bacillus subtilis, Salmonella typhimurium and various species within the genera Pseudomonas, Streptomyces, and Staphylococcus, although others may also be employed as a matter of choice.

As a representative but nonlimiting example, useful expression vectors for bacterial use can comprise a selectable marker and bacterial origin of replication derived from commercially available plasmids comprising genetic elements of the well known cloning vector pBR322 (ATCC 37017). Such commercial vectors include, for example, pKK223-3 (Pharmacia Fine Chemicals, Uppsala, Sweden) and pGEM1 (Promega Biotec, Madison, Wis., USA). These pBR322 "backbone" sections are combined with an appropriate promoter and the structural sequence to be expressed.

Following transformation of a suitable host strain and growth of the host strain to an appropriate cell density, the selected promoter is induced by appropriate means (e.g., temperature shift or chemical induction) and cells are cultured for an additional period.

Cells are typically harvested by centrifugation, disrupted by physical or chemical means, and the resulting crude extract retained for further purification.

Microbial cells employed in expression of proteins can be disrupted by any convenient method, including freeze-thaw cycling, sonication, mechanical disruption, or use of cell lysing agents, such methods are well know to those skilled in the art.

Various mammalian cell culture systems can also be employed to express recombinant protein. Examples of mammalian expression systems include the COS-7 lines of monkey kidney fibroblasts, described by Gluzman, Cell, 23:175 (1981), and other cell lines capable of expressing a compatible vector, for example, the C127, 3T3, CHO, HeLa and BHK cell lines. Mammalian expression vectors will comprise an origin of replication, a suitable promoter and enhancer, and also any necessary ribosome binding sites, polyadenylation site, splice donor and acceptor sites, transcriptional termination sequences, and 5' flanking nontranscribed sequences. DNA sequences derived from the SV40 splice, and polyadenylation sites may be used to provide the required nontranscribed genetic elements.

The Ck.beta.-9 polypeptides can be recovered and purified from recombinant cell cultures by methods including ammonium sulfate or ethanol precipitation, acid extraction, anion or cation exchange chromatography, phosphocellulose chromatography, hydrophobic interaction chromatography, affinity chromatography, hydroxylapatite chromatography and lectin chromatography. Protein refolding steps can be used, as necessary, in completing configuration of the mature protein. Finally, high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) can be employed for final purification steps.

The polypeptides of the present invention may be a naturally purified product, or a product of chemical synthetic procedures, or produced by recombinant techniques from a prokaryotic or eukaryotic host (for example, by bacterial, yeast, higher plant, insect and mammalian cells in culture). Depending upon the host employed in a recombinant production procedure, the polypeptides of the present invention may be glycosylated or may be non-glycosylated. Polypeptides of the invention may also include an initial methionine amino acid residue.

The Ck.beta.-9 polypeptides may be employed to inhibit bone marrow stem cell colony formation as adjunct protective treatment during cancer chemotherapy and for leukemia.

The chemokine polypeptides may also be used to inhibit epidermal keratinocyte proliferation for treatment of psoriasis, which is characterized by keratinocyte hyper-proliferation.

The chemokine polypeptides may also be used to treat solid tumors by stimulating the invasion and activation of host defense cells, e.g., cytotoxic T cells and macrophages. They may also be used to enhance host defenses against resistant chronic infections, for example, mycobacterial infections via the attraction and activation of microbicidal leukocytes.

The chemokine polypeptides may also be used to treat auto-immune disease and lymphocytic leukemia by inhibiting T cell proliferation by the inhibition of IL2 biosynthesis.

Ck.beta.-9 may also be used in wound healing, both via the recruitment of debris clearing and connective tissue promoting inflammatory cells and also via its control of excessive TGF-mediated fibrosis. In this same manner, Ck.beta.-9 may also be used to treat other fibrotic disorders, including liver cirrhosis, osteoarthritis and pulmonary fibrosis.

The chemokine polypeptides also increase the presence of eosinophils which have the distinctive function of killing the larvae of parasites that invade tissues, as in schistosomiasis, trichinosis and ascariasis.

They may also be used to regulate hematopoiesis, by regulating the activation and differentiation of various hematopoietic progenitor cells, for example, to release mature leukocytes from the bone marrow following chemotherapy.

The polynucleotides and polypeptides encoded by such polynucleotides may also be utilized for in vitro purposes related to scientific research, synthesis of DNA and manufacture of DNA vectors and for designing therapeutics and diagnostics for the treatment of human disease.

Fragments of the full length Ck.beta.-9 genes may be used as a hybridization probe for a cDNA library to isolate the full length gene and to isolate other genes which have a high sequence similarity to the gene or similar biological activity. Probes of this type can be, for example, between 20 and 2000 bases. Preferably, however, the probes have between 30 and 50 base pairs. The probe may also be used to identify a cDNA clone corresponding to a full length transcript and a genomic clone or clones that contain the complete genes including regulatory and promoter regions, exons, and introns. An example of a screen comprises isolating the coding region of the genes by using the known DNA sequence to synthesize an oligonucleotide probe. Labeled oligonucleotides having a sequence complementary to that of the genes of the present invention are used to screen a library of human cDNA, genomic DNA or mRNA to determine which members of the library the probe hybridizes to.

This invention is also related to the use of the Ck.beta.-9 gene as part of a diagnostic assay for detecting diseases or susceptibility to diseases related to the presence of mutations in the Ck.beta.-9 nucleic acid sequences. Such diseases are related to under-expression of the chemokine polypeptides, for example, tumors and cancers.

Individuals carrying mutations in the Ck.beta.-9 gene may be detected at the DNA level by a variety of techniques. Nucleic acids for diagnosis may be obtained from a patient's cells, such as from blood, urine, saliva, tissue biopsy and autopsy material. The genomic DNA may be used directly for detection or may be amplified enzymatically by using PCR (Saiki et al., Nature, 324:163 166 (1986)) prior to analysis. RNA or cDNA may also be used for the same purpose. As an example, PCR primers complementary to the nucleic acid encoding Ck.beta.-9 can be used to identify and analyze Ck.beta.-9 mutations. For example, deletions and insertions can be detected by a change in size of the amplified product in comparison to the normal genotype. Point mutations can be identified by hybridizing amplified DNA to radiolabeled Ck.beta.-9 RNA or alternatively, radiolabeled Ck.beta.-9 antisense DNA sequences. Perfectly matched sequences can be distinguished from mismatched duplexes by RNase A digestion or by differences in melting temperatures.

Genetic testing based on DNA sequence differences may be achieved by detection of alteration in electrophoretic mobility of DNA fragments in gels with or without denaturing agents. Small sequence deletions and insertions can be visualized by high resolution gel electrophoresis. DNA fragments of different sequences may be distinguished on denaturing formamide gradient gels in which the mobilities of different DNA fragments are retarded in the gel at different positions according to their specific melting or partial melting temperatures (see, e.g., Myers et al., Science, 230:1242 (1985)).

Sequence changes at specific locations may also be revealed by nuclease protection assays, such as RNase and S1 protection or the chemical cleavage method (e.g., Cotton et al., PNAS, USA, 85:4397 4401 (1985)).

Thus, the detection of a specific DNA sequence may be achieved by methods such as hybridization, RNase protection, chemical cleavage, direct DNA sequencing or the use of restriction enzymes, (e.g., Restriction Fragment Length Polymorphisms (RFLP)) and Southern blotting of genomic DNA.

In addition to more conventional gel-electrophoresis and DNA sequencing, mutations can also be detected by in situ analysis.

The present invention also relates to a diagnostic assay for detecting altered levels of Ck.beta.-9 protein in various tissues since an over-expression of the proteins compared to normal control tissue samples may detect the presence of a disease or susceptibility to a disease, for example, a tumor. Assays used to detect levels of Ck.beta.-9 protein in a sample derived from a host are well-known to those of skill in the art and include radioimmunoassays, competitive-binding assays, Western Blot analysis, ELISA assays and "sandwich" assay. An ELISA assay (Coligan, et al., Current Protocols in Immunology, 1(2), Chapter 6, (1991)) initially comprises preparing an antibody specific to the Ck.beta.-9 antigen, preferably a monoclonal antibody. In addition a reporter antibody is prepared against the monoclonal antibody. To the reporter antibody is attached a detectable reagent such as radioactivity, fluorescence or, in this example, a horseradish peroxidase enzyme. A sample is removed from a host and incubated on a solid support, e.g. a polystyrene dish, that binds the proteins in the sample. Any free protein binding sites on the dish are then covered by incubating with a non-specific protein like bovine serum albumin. Next, the monoclonal antibody is incubated in the dish during which time the monoclonal antibodies attach to any Ck.beta.-9 proteins attached to the polystyrene dish. All unbound monoclonal antibody is washed out with buffer. The reporter antibody linked to horseradish peroxidase is now placed in the dish resulting in binding of the reporter antibody to any monoclonal antibody bound to Ck.beta.-9. Unattached reporter antibody is then washed out. Peroxidase substrates are then added to the dish and the amount of color developed in a given time period is a measurement of the amount of Ck.beta.-9 protein present in a given volume of patient sample when compared against a standard curve.

A competition assay may be employed wherein antibodies specific to Ck.beta.-9 are attached to a solid support and labeled Ck.beta.-9 and a sample derived from the host are passed over the solid support and the amount of label detected, for example by liquid scintillation chromatography, can be correlated to a quantity of Ck.beta.-9 in the sample.

A "sandwich" assay is similar to an ELISA assay. In a "sandwich" assay Ck.beta.-9 is passed over a solid support and binds to antibody attached to a solid support. A second antibody is then bound to the Ck.beta.-9. A third antibody which is labeled and specific to the second antibody is then passed over the solid support and binds to the second antibody and an amount can then be quantified.

This invention provides a method for identification of the receptors for Ck.beta.-9 polypeptides. The gene encoding the receptor can be identified by numerous methods known to those of skill in the art, for example, ligand panning and FACS sorting (Coligan, et al., Current Protocols in Immun., 1(2), Chapter 5, (1991)). Preferably, expression cloning is employed wherein polyadenylated RNA is prepared from a cell responsive to the polypeptides, and a cDNA library created from this RNA is divided into pools and used to transfect COS cells or other cells that are not responsive to the polypeptides. Transfected cells which are grown on glass slides are exposed to the labeled polypeptides. The polypeptides can be labeled by a variety of means including iodination or inclusion of a recognition site for a site-specific protein kinase. Following fixation and incubation, the slides are subjected to autoradiographic analysis. Positive pools are identified and sub-pools are prepared and re-transfected using an iterative sub-pooling and re-screening process, eventually yielding a single clones that encodes the putative receptor.

As an alternative approach for receptor identification, the labeled polypeptides can be photo-affinity linked with cell membrane or extract preparations that express the receptor molecule. Cross-linked material is resolved by PAGE analysis and exposed to x-ray film. The labeled complex containing the receptors of the polypeptides can be excised, resolved into peptide fragments, and subjected to protein micro-sequencing. The amino acid sequence obtained from micro-sequencing would be used to design a set of degenerate oligonucleotide probes to screen a cDNA library to identify the genes encoding the putative receptors.

This invention provides a method of screening compounds to identify agonists and antagonists to the Ck.beta.-9 polypeptides of the present invention. An agonist is a compound which has similar biological functions of the polypeptides, while antagonists block such functions. Chemotaxis may be assayed by placing cells, which are chemo-attracted by either of the polypeptides of the present invention, on top of a filter with pores of sufficient diameter to admit the cells (about 5 m). Solutions of potential agonists are placed in the bottom of the chamber with an appropriate control medium in the upper compartment, and thus a concentration gradient of the agonist is measured by counting cells that migrate into or through the porous membrane over time.

When assaying for antagonists, the polypeptides of the present invention are placed in the bottom chamber and the potential antagonist is added to determine if chemotaxis of the cells is prevented.

Alternatively, a mammalian cell or membrane preparation expressing the receptors of the polypeptides would be incubated with a labeled Ck.beta.-9 polypeptide, e.g. radioactivity, in the presence of the compound. The ability of the compound to block this interaction could then be measured. When assaying for agonists in this fashion, the chemokines would be absent and the ability of the agonist itself to interact with the receptor could be measured.

Examples of potential Ck.beta.-9 antagonists include antibodies, or in some cases, oligonucleotides, which bind to the polypeptides. Another example of a potential antagonist is a negative dominant mutant of the polypeptides. Negative dominant mutants are polypeptides which bind to the receptor of the wild-type polypeptide, but fail to retain biological activity.

Antisense constructs prepared using antisense technology are also potential antagonists. Antisense technology can be used to control gene expression through triple-helix formation or antisense DNA or RNA, both of which methods are based on binding of a polynucleotide to DNA or RNA. For example, the 5' coding portion of the polynucleotide sequence, which encodes for the mature polypeptides of the present invention, is used to design an antisense RNA oligonucleotide of from about 10 to 40 base pairs in length. A DNA oligonucleotide is designed to be complementary to a region of the gene involved in transcription (triple-helix, see Lee et al., Nucl. Acids Res., 6:3073 (1979); Cooney et al, Science, 241:456 (1988); and Dervan et al., Science, 251: 1360 (1991)), thereby preventing transcription and the production of the chemokine polypeptides. The antisense RNA oligonucleotide hybridizes to the mRNA in vivo and blocks translation of the mRNA molecule into the polypeptides (antisense--Okano, J. Neurochem., 56:560 (1991); Oligodeoxynucleotides as Antisense Inhibitors of Gene Expression, CRC Press, Boca Raton, Fla. (1988)). The oligonucleotides described above can also be delivered to cells such that the antisense RNA or DNA may be expressed in vivo to inhibit production of Ck.beta.-9.

Another potential Ck.beta.-9 antagonist is a peptide derivative of the polypeptides which are naturally or synthetically modified analogs of the polypeptides that have lost biological function yet still recognize and bind to the receptors of the polypeptides to thereby effectively block the receptors. Examples of peptide derivatives include, but are not limited to, small peptides or peptide-like molecules.

The antagonists may be employed to inhibit the chemotaxis and activation of macrophages and their precursors, and of neutrophils, basophils, B lymphocytes and some T cell subsets, e.g., activated and CD8 cytotoxic T cells and natural killer cells, in auto-immune and chronic inflammatory and infective diseases. Examples of auto-immune diseases include rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, and insulin-dependent diabetes. Some infectious diseases include silicosis, sarcoidosis, idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis by preventing the recruitment and activation of mononuclear phagocytes, idiopathic hypereosinophilic syndrome by preventing eosinophil production and migration, endotoxic shock by preventing the migration of macrophages and their production of the chemokine polypeptides of the present invention.

The antagonists may also be employed for treating atherosclerosis, by preventing monocyte infiltration in the artery wall.

The antagonists may also be employed to treat histamine-mediated allergic reactions and immunological disorders including late phase allergic reactions, chronic urticaria, and atopic dermatitis by inhibiting chemokine-induced mast cell and basophil degranulation and release of histamine. IgE-mediated allergic reactions such as allergic asthma, rhinitis, and eczema may also be treated.

The antagonists may also be employed to treat chronic and acute inflammation by preventing the attraction of monocytes to a wound area. They may also be employed to regulate normal pulmonary macrophage populations, since acute and chronic inflammatory pulmonary diseases are associated with sequestration of mononuclear phagocytes in the lung.

Antagonists may also be employed to treat rheumatoid arthritis by preventing the attraction of monocytes into synovial fluid in the joints of patients. Monocyte influx and activation plays a significant role in the pathogenesis of both degenerative and inflammatory arthropathies.

The antagonists may be employed to interfere with the deleterious cascades attributed primarily to IL-1 and TNF, which prevents the biosynthesis of other inflammatory cytokines. In this way, the antagonists may be employed to prevent inflammation. The antagonists may also be employed to inhibit prostaglandin-independent fever induced by chemokines.

The antagonists may also be employed to treat cases of bone marrow failure, for example, aplastic anemia and myelodysplastic syndrome.

The antagonists may also be used to treat asthma and allergy by preventing eosinophil accumulation in the lung. The antagonists may also be employed to treat subepithelial basement membrane fibrosis which is a prominent feature of the asthmatic lung.

The antagonists may be employed in a composition with a pharmaceutically acceptable carrier, e.g., as hereinafter described.

The Ck.beta.-9 polypeptides and agonists and antagonists may be employed in combination with a suitable pharmaceutical carrier. Such compositions comprise a therapeutically effective amount of the polypeptide, and a pharmaceutically acceptable carrier or excipient. Such a carrier includes but is not limited to saline, buffered saline, dextrose, water, glycerol, ethanol, and combinations thereof. The formulation should suit the mode of administration.

The invention also provides a pharmaceutical pack or kit comprising one or more containers filled with one or more of the ingredients of the pharmaceutical compositions of the invention. Associated with such container(s) can be a notice in the form prescribed by a governmental agency regulating the manufacture, use or sale of pharmaceuticals or biological products, which notice reflects approval by the agency of manufacture, use or sale for human administration. In addition, the polypeptides and agonists and antagonists may be employed in conjunction with other therapeutic compounds.

The pharmaceutical compositions may be administered in a convenient manner such as by the topical, intravenous, intraperitoneal, intramuscular, intratumor, subcutaneous, intranasal or intradermal routes. The pharmaceutical compositions are administered in an amount which is effective for treating and/or prophylaxis of the specific indication. In general, the polypeptides will be administered in an amount of at least about 10 .mu.g/kg body weight and in most cases they will be administered in an amount not in excess of about 8 mg/Kg body weight per day. In most cases, the dosage is from about 10 .mu.g/kg to about 1 mg/kg body weight daily, taking into account the routes of administration, symptoms, etc.

The Ck.beta.-9 polypeptides, and agonists or antagonists which are polypeptides, may be employed in accordance with the present invention by expression of such polypeptides in vivo, which is often referred to as "gene therapy."

Thus, for example, cells from a patient may be engineered with a polynucleotide (DNA or RNA) encoding a polypeptide ex vivo, with the engineered cells then being provided to a patient to be treated with the polypeptide. Such methods are well-known in the art. For example, cells may be engineered by procedures known in the art by use of a retroviral particle containing RNA encoding a polypeptide of the present invention.

Similarly, cells may be engineered in vivo for expression of a polypeptide in vivo by, for example, procedures known in the art. As known in the art, a producer cell for producing a retroviral particle containing RNA encoding the polypeptide of the present invention may be administered to a patient for engineering cells in vivo and expression of the polypeptide in vivo. These and other methods for administering a polypeptide of the present invention by such method should be apparent to those skilled in the art from the teachings of the present invention. For example, the expression vehicle for engineering cells may be other than a retrovirus, for example, an adenovirus which may be used to engineer cells in vivo after combination with a suitable delivery vehicle.

The sequences of the present invention are also valuable for chromosome identification. The sequence is specifically targeted to and can hybridize with a particular location on an individual human chromosome. Moreover, there is a current need for identifying particular sites on the chromosome. Few chromosome marking reagents based on actual sequence data (repeat polymorphisms) are presently available for marking chromosomal location. The mapping of DNAs to chromosomes according to the present invention is an important first step in correlating those sequences with genes associated with disease.

Briefly, sequences can be mapped to chromosomes by preparing PCR primers (preferably 15 25 bp) from the cDNA. Computer analysis of the 3' untranslated region is used to rapidly select primers that do not span more than one exon in the genomic DNA, thus complicating the amplification process. These primers are then used for PCR screening of somatic cell hybrids containing individual human chromosomes. Only those hybrids containing the human gene corresponding to the primer will yield an amplified fragment.

PCR mapping of somatic cell hybrids is a rapid procedure for assigning a particular DNA to a particular chromosome. Using the present invention with the same oligonucleotide primers, sublocalization can be achieved with panels of fragments from specific chromosomes or pools of large genomic clones in an analogous manner. Other mapping strategies that can similarly be used to map to its chromosome include in situ hybridization, prescreening with labeled flow-sorted chromosomes and preselection by hybridization to construct chromosome specific-cDNA libraries.

Fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) of a cDNA clones to a metaphase chromosomal spread can be used to provide a precise chromosomal location in one step. This technique can be used with cDNA as short as 50 or 60 bases. For a review of this technique, see Verma et al., Human Chromosomes: a Manual of Basic Techniques, Pergamon Press, New York (1988).

Once a sequence has been mapped to a precise chromosomal location, the physical position of the sequence on the chromosome can be correlated with genetic map data. Such data are found, for example, in V. McKusick, Mendelian Inheritance in Man (available on line through Johns Hopkins University Welch Medical Library). The relationship between genes and diseases that have been mapped to the same chromosomal region are then identified through linkage analysis (coinheritance of physically adjacent genes).

Next, it is necessary to determine the differences in the cDNA or genomic sequence between affected and unaffected individuals. If a mutation is observed in some or all of the affected individuals but not in any normal individuals, then the mutation is likely to be the causative agent of the disease.

With current resolution of physical mapping and genetic mapping techniques, a cDNA precisely localized to a chromosomal region associated with the disease could be one of between 50 and 500 potential causative genes. (This assumes 1 megabase mapping resolution and one gene per 20 kb).

The polypeptides, their fragments or other derivatives, or analogs thereof, or cells expressing them can be used as an immunogen to produce antibodies thereto. These antibodies can be, for example, polyclonal or monoclonal antibodies. The present invention also includes chimeric, single chain, and humanized antibodies, as well as Fab fragments, or the product of an Fab expression library. Various procedures known in the art may be used for the production of such antibodies and fragments.

Antibodies generated against the polypeptides corresponding to a sequence of the present invention can be obtained by direct injection of the polypeptides into an animal or by administering the polypeptides to an animal, preferably a nonhuman. The antibody so obtained will then bind the polypeptides itself. In this manner, even a sequence encoding only a fragment of the polypeptides can be used to generate antibodies binding the whole native polypeptides. Such antibodies can then be used to isolate the polypeptide from tissue expressing that polypeptide.

For preparation of monoclonal antibodies, any technique which provides antibodies produced by continuous cell line cultures can be used. Examples include the hybridoma technique (Kohler and Milstein, 1975, Nature, 256:495 497), the trioma technique, the human B-cell hybridoma technique (Kozbor et al., 1983, Immunology Today 4:72), and the EBV-hybridoma technique to produce human monoclonal antibodies (Cole, et al., 1985, in Monoclonal Antibodies and Cancer Therapy, Alan R. Liss, Inc., pp. 77 96).

Techniques described for the production of single chain antibodies (U.S. Pat. No. 4,946,778) can be adapted to produce single chain antibodies to immunogenic polypeptide products of this invention. Also, transgenic mice may be used to express humanized antibodies to immunogenic polypeptide products of this invention.

The present invention will be further described with reference to the following examples; however, it is to be understood that the present invention is not limited to such examples. All parts or amounts, unless otherwise specified, are by weight.

In order to facilitate understanding of the following examples certain frequently occurring methods and/or terms will be described.

"Plasmids" are designated by a lower case p preceded and/or followed by capital letters and/or numbers. The starting plasmids herein are either commercially available, publicly available on an unrestricted basis, or can be constructed from available plasmids in accord with published procedures. In addition, equivalent plasmids to those described are known in the art and will be apparent to the ordinarily skilled artisan.

"Digestion" of DNA refers to catalytic cleavage of the DNA with a restriction enzyme that acts only at certain sequences in the DNA. The various restriction enzymes used herein are commercially available and their reaction conditions, cofactors and other requirements were used as would be known to the ordinarily skilled artisan. For analytical purposes, typically 1 .mu.g of plasmid or DNA fragment is used with about 2 units of enzyme in about 20 .mu.l of buffer solution. For the purpose of isolating DNA fragments for plasmid construction, typically 5 to 50 .mu.g of DNA are digested with 20 to 250 units of enzyme in a larger volume. Appropriate buffers and substrate amounts for particular restriction enzymes are specified by the manufacturer. Incubation times of about 1 hour at 37 C. are ordinarily used, but may vary in accordance with the supplier's instructions. After digestion the reaction is electrophoresed directly on a polyacrylamide gel to isolate the desired fragment.

Size separation of the cleaved fragments is performed using 8 percent polyacrylamide gel described by Goeddel, D. et al., Nucleic Acids Res., 8:4057 (1980).

"Oligonucleotides" refers to either a single stranded polydeoxynucleotide or two complementary polydeoxynucleotide strands which may be chemically synthesized. Such synthetic oligonucleotides have no 5' phosphate and thus will not ligate to another oligonucleotide without adding a phosphate with an ATP in the presence of a kinase. A synthetic oligonucleotide will ligate to a fragment that has not been dephosphorylated.

"Ligation" refers to the process of forming phosphodiester bonds between two double stranded nucleic acid fragments (Maniatis, T., et al., Id., p. 146). Unless otherwise provided, ligation may be accomplished using known buffers and conditions with 10 units to T4 DNA ligase ("ligase") per 0.5 .mu.g of approximately equimolar amounts of the DNA fragments to be ligated.

Unless otherwise stated, transformation was performed as described in the method of Graham, F. and Van der Eb, A., Virology, 52:456 457 (1973).
 


Claim 1 of 23 Claims

1. An isolated antibody or fragment thereof that specifically binds to a protein selected from the group consisting of: (a) a protein whose amino acid sequence consists of amino acid residues 1 to 134 of SEQ ID NO:2; (b) a protein whose amino acid sequence consists of amino acid residues 24 to 134 of SEQ ID NO:2; (c) a protein whose amino acid sequence consists of a portion of SEQ ID NO:2, wherein said portion is at least 30 contiguous amino acid residues in length; and (d) a protein whose amino acid sequence consists of a portion of SEQ ID NO:2, wherein said portion is at least 50 contiguous amino acid residues in length.

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