Efficiency of Immunotoxin Cytotoxicity Is Modulated by the Intracellular Itinerary
Pseudomonas exotoxin-based immunotoxins, including LMB-2 (antiTac(F(v))-PE38), are proposed to traffic to the trans-Golgi network (TGN) and move by a retrograde pathway to the endoplasmic reticulum, where they undergo translocation to the cytoplasm, a step that is essential for cytotoxicity. The retrograde transport pathways used by LMB-2 are not completely understood, so it is unclear if transit through specific organelles is critical for maximal cytotoxic activity. In this study, we used Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cell lines that express chimeric constructs of CD25, the Tac antigen, attached to the cytoplasmic domain of the TGN-targeted transmembrane proteins, TGN38 and furin. These chimeras are both targeted to the TGN, but the itineraries they follow are quite different. LMB-2 was incubated with the two cell lines, and the efficiency of cell killing was determined using cell viability and cytotoxicity assays. LMB-2 that is targeted through the endocytic recycling compartment to the TGN via Tac-TGN38 kills the cells more efficiently than immunotoxins delivered through the late endosomes by Tac-furin. Although the processing to the 37 kDa active fragment was more efficient in Tac-furin cells than in Tac-TGN38 cells, this was not associated with enhanced cytotoxicity - presumably because the toxin was also degraded more rapidly in these cells. These data indicate that trafficking through specific organelles is an important factor modulating toxicity by LMB-2.