Bispecific antibody CD73xEpCAM selectively inhibits the adenosine-mediated immunosuppressive activity of carcinoma-derived extracellular vesicles

Emily M Ploeg, Xiurong Ke, Isabel Britsch, Mark A J M Hendriks, Femke A Van der Zant, Schelto Kruijff, Douwe F Samplonius, Hao Zhang, Wijnand Helfrich*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

    3 Citations (Scopus)
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    Tumor-derived extracellular vesicles (EVs) carry potent immunosuppressive factors that affect the antitumor activities of immune cells. A significant part of the immunoinhibitory activity of EVs is attributable to CD73, a GPI-anchored ecto-5'-nucleotidase involved in the conversion of tumor-derived proinflammatory extracellular ATP (eATP) to immunosuppressive adenosine (ADO). The CD73-antagonist antibody oleclumab inhibits cell surface-exposed CD73 and is currently undergoing clinical testing for cancer immunotherapy. However, a strategy to selectively inhibit CD73 exposed on EVs is not available. Here, we present a novel bispecific antibody (bsAb) CD73xEpCAM designed to bind with high affinity the common EV surface marker EpCAM and concurrently inhibit CD73. Unlike oleclumab, bsAb CD73xEpCAM potently inhibited the immunosuppressive activity of EVs from CD73pos/EpCAMpos carcinoma cell lines and patient-derived colorectal cancer cells. Taken together, selective blockade of EV-exposed CD73 by bsAb CD73xEpCAM may be useful as an alternate or complementary targeted approach in cancer immunotherapy.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)109-118
    Number of pages10
    JournalCancer letters
    Early online date28-Aug-2021
    Publication statusPublished - 28-Nov-2021


    • Bifunctional antibody
    • Tumor exosomes
    • Ecto-5 '-nucleotidase
    • Immune checkpoint
    • Cancer immunotherapy
    • T-CELLS
    • TARGET
    • CD73

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