Human and mouse albumin bind their respective neonatal Fc receptors differently

Jeannette Nilsen, Malin Bern, Kine Marita Knudsen Sand, Algirdas Grevys, Bjørn Dalhus, Inger Sandlie & Jan Terje Andersen

Scientific Reports 2018 vol: 8 Article number: 14648 doi: 10.1038/s41598-018-32817-0


Albumin has a serum half-life of three weeks in humans and is utilized to extend the serum persistence of drugs that are genetically fused or conjugated directly to albumin or albumin-binding molecules. Responsible for the long half-life is FcRn that protects albumin from intracellular degradation. An in-depth understanding of how FcRn binds albumin across species is of importance for design and evaluation of albumin-based therapeutics. Albumin consists of three homologous domains where domain I and domain III of human albumin are crucial for binding to human FcRn. Here, we show that swapping of two loops in domain I or the whole domain with the corresponding sequence in mouse albumin results in reduced binding to human FcRn. In contrast, humanizing domain I of mouse albumin improves binding. We reveal that domain I of mouse albumin plays a minor role in the interaction with the mouse and human receptors, as domain III on its own binds with similar affinity as full-length mouse albumin. Further, we show that P573 in domain III of mouse albumin is required for strong receptor binding. Our study highlights distinct differences in structural requirements for the interactions between mouse and human albumin with their respective receptor, which should be taken into consideration in design of albumin-based drugs and evaluation in mouse models.

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Topics: Tycho, Proteins, Publications

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