Pancreatic adenocarcinoma, a highly aggressive form of cancer with a poor prognosis, necessitates the development of innovative treatment strategies. Our prior research showcased the growth-inhibiting effects of the anti-EphA2 antibody drug hSD5 on pancreatic cancer tumors. This antibody targets and induces the degradation of the EphA2 receptor while also prompting the antibody's internalization. A deeper dive into the hSD5 Fab crystallographic structure and docking studies revealed that hSD5's CDRH3 drives the primary interaction between hSD5 and the EphA2 active site. In this study, we developed a novel antibody-drug conjugate (ADC)-the auristatin-based hSD5-vedotin specifically targeting EphA2 in pancreatic cancer cells. This ADC aims at the tumor-specific antigen EphA2, triggering endocytosis and releasing the conjugated payload molecule Monomethyl auristatin E (MMAE), amplifying the tumor-killing effect. Upon cellular entry, hSD5-vedotin demonstrated an impressive tumor-killing response, inhibiting tumor cell growth and promoting apoptosis even at lower antibody concentrations. In a pancreatic cancer xenograft animal model, hSD5-vedotin showcased the potential to suppress tumor growth entirely. Notably, potential immune resistance responses were also observed in recurrent pancreatic cancer tumors. Our empirical results underscore the possibility of developing hSD5-vedotin further, which we anticipate will have a broader and more potent therapeutic impact on pancreatic cancer and other EphA2-related cancers.

Original languageEnglish
Article number149214
JournalBiochemical and Biophysical Research Communications
Publication statusPublished - Dec 25 2023


  • Antibody-drug conjugate (ADC)
  • Crystallographic structure
  • EphA2
  • hSD5-vedotin
  • Pancreatic cancer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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