Ph.D. University of California, Berkeley
Methoxy polyethylene glycol (mPEG) is attached to many proteins, peptides, nucleic acids and nanomedicines to improve their biocompatibility. Antibodies that bind PEG are present in many individuals and can be generated upon administration of pegylated therapeutics. Anti-PEG antibodies that bind to the PEG "backbone" can accelerate drug clearance and detrimentally affect drug activity and safety, but no studies have examined how anti-methoxy PEG (mPEG) antibodies, which selectively bind the terminus of mPEG, affect pegylated drugs. Here, we investigated how defined IgG and IgM monoclonal antibodies specific to the PEG backbone (anti-PEG) or terminal methoxy group (anti-mPEG) affect pegylated liposomes or proteins with a single PEG chain, a single branched PEG chain, or multiple PEG chains. Large immune complexes can be formed between all pegylated compounds and anti-PEG antibodies but only pegylated liposomes formed large immune complexes with anti-mPEG antibodies. Both anti-PEG IgG and IgM antibodies accelerated the clearance of all pegylated compounds but anti-mPEG antibodies did not accelerate clearance of proteins with a single or branched PEG molecule. Pegylated liposomes were primarily taken up by Kupffer cells in the liver, but both anti-PEG and anti-mPEG antibodies directed uptake of a heavily pegylated protein to liver sinusoidal endothelial cells. Our results demonstrate that in contrast to anti-PEG antibodies, immune complex formation and drug clearance induced by anti-mPEG antibodies depends on pegylation architecture; compounds with a single or branched PEG molecule are unaffected by anti-mPEG antibodies but are increasingly affected as the number of PEG chain in a structure increases.