Although the functional properties of IgGs are well known, little has been published concerning the stability of whole IgG molecules. Stability is, however, a requirement for the development of antibodies for therapeutic or diagnostic applications. The hypervariable antigen-binding region (Fv) is responsible for stability variations between IgGs of identical subclass. To determine the range of stabilities that may be expected for human(ized) antibodies, differential scanning calorimetry was performed on 17 human(ized) antibodies from various in-house programs. The antigen-binding fragments (Fabs) of these antibodies exhibited thermal unfolding transitions with midpoints (TMs) varying from 57 to 82 °C. Antibodies with very low Fab stabilities were found to aggregate and express poorly. Fab instability was often associated with high levels of uncommonly observed amino acids or CDR loop lengths particularly within the variable heavy chain domain. Overall, the study provides a thermostability range for IgGs and suggests possible stability guidelines for developing antibody diagnostics or therapeutics. © 2007 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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