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IgA nephropathy is a common primary glomerulonephritis caused by mesangial deposition of poly-IgA complexes. The disease follows a variable course of clinical progression, with a high risk of kidney failure. Although no specific therapy is available, enzymatic strategies to clear IgA deposits are being considered for the treatment of rapidly progressive IgA nephropathy. We chose an IgA protease of commensal bacterium Clostridium ramosum, termed AK183, as the template for constructing a recombinant biologic. To extend the t1/2 in blood, we fused AK183 to the Fc segment of human IgG1. Activities of this Fc-AK183 fusion protein toward the cleavage and subsequent clearance of IgA were tested in mouse models. First, we discovered an autocleavage activity of AK183 that separates the N-terminal protease from its C-terminal autotransporter β domain. Therefore, we grafted Fc to the N terminus of AK183 and demonstrated its week-long enzymatic activity in mice. In addition, the proteolytic fragments of IgA generated in the reaction with Fc-AK183 were effectively removed from circulation via kidney filtration. The combined actions of Fc-AK183-mediated cleavage and subsequent renal clearance of IgA resulted in a lasting obliteration of blood IgA, as demonstrated in a human IgA-injection model and in a humanized α1KI transgenic model. Fc-AK183 was also able to remove chronic IgA and associated complement C3 deposits in the glomerulus. We constructed a chimeric fusion of IgA protease with Fc and demonstrated its long-lasting efficacy as a promising targeted therapy for IgA nephropathy in mouse models. Copyright © 2022 by the American Society of Nephrology.


Xinfang Xie, Jingyi Li, Pan Liu, Manliu Wang, Li Gao, Feng Wan, Jicheng Lv, Hong Zhang, Jing Jin. Chimeric Fusion between Clostridium Ramosum IgA Protease and IgG Fc Provides Long-Lasting Clearance of IgA Deposits in Mouse Models of IgA Nephropathy. Journal of the American Society of Nephrology : JASN. 2022 May;33(5):918-935

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PMID: 35172987

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