Antitumor activity of a lectibody targeting cancer-associated high-mannose glycans

Young Jun Oh, Matthew W. Dent, Angela R. Freels, Qingwen Zhou, Carlito B. Lebrilla, Michael L. Merchant, Nobuyuki Matoba

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Aberrant protein glycosylation is a hallmark of cancer, but few drugs targeting cancer glycobiomarkers are currently available. Here, we showed that a lectibody consisting of the high-mannose glycan-binding lectin Avaren and human immunoglobulin G1 (IgG1) Fc (AvFc) selectively recognizes a range of cell lines derived from lung, breast, colon, and blood cancers at nanomolar concentrations. Binding of AvFc to the non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) cell lines A549 and H460 was characterized in detail. Co-immunoprecipitation proteomics analysis revealed that epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) and insulin-like growth factor 1 receptor (IGF1R) are among the lectibody's common targets in these cells. AvFc blocked the activation of EGFR and IGF1R by their respective ligands in A549 cells and inhibited the migration of A549 and H460 cells upon stimulation with EGF and IGF1. Furthermore, AvFc induced potent Fc-mediated cytotoxic effects and significantly restricted A549 and H460 tumor growth in severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID) mice. Immunohistochemistry analysis of primary lung tissues from NSCLC patients demonstrated that AvFc preferentially binds to tumors over adjacent non-tumor tissues. Our findings provide evidence that increased abundance of high-mannose glycans in the glycocalyx of cancer cells can be a druggable target, and AvFc may provide a new tool to probe and target this tumor-associated glycobiomarker.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalMolecular Therapy
StateAccepted/In press - 2022


  • avaren
  • epidermal growth factor receptor
  • high mannose glycan
  • insulin-like growth factor 1 receptor
  • lectibody
  • non-small cell lung cancer
  • tumor-associated carbohydrate antigen

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Pharmacology
  • Drug Discovery


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