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Abstract 0313

Reference

Theurillat, J. P., Dreier, B., Nagy-Davidescu, G., Seifert, B., Behnke, S., Zürrer-Härdi, U., Ingold, F., Plückthun, A., and Moch, H. (2010). Designed ankyrin repeat proteins: a novel tool for testing epidermal growth factor receptor 2 expression in breast cancer. Mod. Pathol. 23, 1289-1297.

Abstract

Designed ankyrin repeat proteins are a novel class of specific binding molecules, which display increased thermodynamic stability, smaller size and at least equal target affinity compared to immunoglobulins, making them potentially powerful tools in diagnostic pathology and therapeutic oncology. Here, we investigated whether designed ankyrin repeat proteins can reliably identify the amplification status of the epidermal growth factor receptor 2 in breast cancer. Designed ankyrin repeat proteins specific for epidermal growth factor receptor 2 were tested in paraffin-embedded tissue sections. Detection using enzymatic biotinylation proved to be most specific and sensitive. The affinity of the designed ankyrin repeat proteins was found crucial, but for a picomolar binder no further gain was found by making it multivalent. The best designed ankyrin repeat protein, G3 (K(D) 90 pM) was compared on breast cancer tissue microarrays (n=792) to an FDA-approved rabbit monoclonal antibody against epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (clone 4B5; Ventana Medical Systems) and correlated with corresponding epidermal growth factor receptor 2 amplification status measured by fluorescent in situ hybridization. Amplification status and epidermal growth factor receptor 2 expression measured by designed ankyrin repeat protein and antibody correlated strongly with each other (P<0.0001 each), the correlation between designed ankyrin repeat protein and amplification status being the strongest (0.87 compared to 0.77 for the antibody, Kendall's tau-beta). Using a modified scoring system for the designed ankyrin repeat protein, we show that the designed ankyrin repeat protein detects a positive epidermal growth factor receptor 2 amplification status with similar sensitivity and significantly higher specificity than the antibody (P=0.0005). This study suggests that designed ankyrin repeat proteins provide a valuable alternative to antibodies for the detection of epidermal growth factor receptor 2 expression in breast cancer and adds further compelling evidence for the use of designed ankyrin repeat proteins in diagnostic pathology and therapeutic oncology.

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