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Guiding the Selection of Human Antibodies from Phage Display Repertoires to a Single Epitope of an Antigen

Bio/Technologyvolume 12pages899903 (1994) | Download Citation



We have developed a strategy for guiding the selection of human antibody fragments from phage display repertoires to a single epitope of an antigen, using rodent monoclonal antibodies as a template. Thus the heavy chain of a rodent antibody (MAb32) directed against human tumor necrosis factor α (TNFα) was cloned and paired as a template chain with a repertoire of human light chains for display as Fab fragments on filamentous phage. The phage were selected by binding to the antigen. The selected human light chains were in turn paired with a repertoire of human heavy chains displayed on phage, and the phage selected again. The isolated phage displaying human antibody fragments binding to TNFα also bound to a peptide comprising the N–terminal region of TNFα as with MAb32. One of the human Fab fragments was recloned for expression as a glycosylated human antibody in mammalian cells: Binding to TNFα could be competed with MAb32 or with anti–serum to the peptide, indicating the same epitope. The human antibody was found to have a binding affinity (Kd=15 nM) similar to MAb32 (Kd=26 nM). The process contrasts with existing means of “humanizing” rodent monoclonal antibodies in that the antibodies derived are completely human.


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Author notes

    • Laurent S. Jespers

    Present address: Corvas International N.V., Jozef Plateaustraat 22, B-9000, Gent, Belgium

    • Stephen M. Mahler

    Present address: University of New South Wales, P.O. Box 1, Kensington, NSW, Australia

  1. Hennie R. Hoogenboom: Corresponding author.


  1. MRC Centre for Protein Engineering, MRC Centre, Hills Road, Cambridge, CB2 2QH, U.K.

    • Laurent S. Jespers
    • , Greg Winter
    •  & Hennie R. Hoogenboom
  2. Cambridge Antibody Technology Ltd., The Science Park, Melbourn, Cambridgeshire, SG8 6EJ, U.K.

    • Andy Roberts
    • , Stephen M. Mahler
    •  & Hennie R. Hoogenboom


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