A Robust α-l-Fucosidase from Prevotella nigrescens for Glycoengineering Therapeutic Antibodies

Mu-Rong Kao, Tzu-Hsuan Ma, Hsiang-Yu Chou, Shu-Chieh Chang, Lin-Chen Cheng, Kuo-Shiang Liao, Jiun-Jie Shie, Philip J. Harris, Chi-Huey Wong, Yves S. Y. Hsieh

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Eliminating the core fucose from the N-glycans of the Fc antibody segment by pathway engineering or enzymatic methods has been shown to enhance the potency of therapeutic antibodies, especially in the context of antibody-dependent cytotoxicity (ADCC). However, there is a significant challenge due to the limited defucosylation efficiency of commercially available α-l-fucosidases. In this study, we report a unique α-l-fucosidase (PnfucA) from the bacterium Prevotella nigrescens that has a low sequence identity compared with all other known α-l-fucosidases and is highly reactive toward a core disaccharide substrate with fucose α(1,3)-, α (1,4)-and α(1,6)-linked to GlcNAc, and is less reactive toward the Fuc-α(1,2)-Gal on the terminal trisaccharide of the oligosaccharide Globo H (Bb3). The kinetic properties of the enzyme, such as its Km and kcat, were determined and the optimized expression of PnfucA gave a yield exceeding 30 mg/L. The recombinant enzyme retained its full activity even after being incubated for 6 h at 37 °C. Moreover, it retained 92 and 87% of its activity after freezing and freeze-drying treatments, respectively, for over 28 days. In a representative glycoengineering of adalimumab (Humira), PnfucA showed remarkable hydrolytic efficiency in cleaving the α(1,6)-linked core fucose from FucGlcNAc on the antibody with a quantitative yield. This enabled the seamless incorporation of biantennary sialylglycans by Endo-S2 D184 M in a one-pot fashion to yield adalimumab in a homogeneous afucosylated glycoform with an improved binding affinity toward Fcγ receptor IIIa.
Original languageEnglish
JournalACS Chemical Biology
Publication statusPublished - 2024


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