The anti-CD20 mAb rituximab has substantially improved the clinical outcome of patients with a wide range of B-cell malignancies. However, many patients relapse or fail to respond to rituximab, and thus there is intense investigation into the development of novel anti-CD20 mAbs with improved therapeutic efficacy. Although Fc-FcγR interactions appear to underlie much of the therapeutic success with rituximab, certain type II anti-CD20 mAbs efficiently induce programmed cell death (PCD), whereas rituximab-like type I anti-CD20 mAbs do not. Here, we show that the humanized, glycoengineered anti-CD20 mAb GA101 and derivatives harboring non-glycoengineered Fc regions are type II mAb that trigger nonapoptotic PCD in a range of B-lymphoma cell lines and primary B-cell malignancies. We demonstrate that GA101-induced cell death is dependent on actin reorganization, can be abrogated by inhibitors of actin polymerization, and is independent of BCL-2 overexpression and caspase activation. GA101-induced PCD is executed by lysosomes which disperse their contents into the cytoplasm and surrounding environment. Taken together, these findings reveal that GA101 is able to potently elicit actin-dependent, lysosomal cell death, which may potentially lead to improved clearance of B-cell malignancies in vivo.
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