Abstract 0354


Jost, C., Schilling, J., Tamaskovic, R., Schwill, M., Honegger, A., and Plückthun, A. (2013). Structural basis for eliciting a cytotoxic effect in HER2-overexpressing cancer cells via binding to the extracellular domain of HER2. Structure 21, 1979-1991.


Human epidermal growth factor receptor-2 (HER2) is a receptor tyrosine kinase directly linked to the growth of malignancies from various origins and a validated target for monoclonal antibodies and kinase inhibitors. Utilizing a new approach with designed ankyrin repeat proteins (DARPins) as alternative binders, we show that binding of two DARPins connected by a short linker, one targeting extracellular subdomain I and the other subdomain IV, causes much stronger cytotoxic effects on the HER2-addicted breast cancer cell line BT474, surpassing the therapeutic antibody trastuzumab. We determined crystal structures of these DARPins in complex with the respective subdomains. Detailed models of the full-length receptor, constrained by its rigid domain structures and its membrane anchoring, explain how the bispecific DARPins connect two membrane-bound HER2 molecules, distorting them such that they cannot form signaling-competent dimers with any EGFR family member, preventing any kinase dimerization, and thus leading to a complete loss of signaling.


Supplement 0354

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