Chimeric immunoglobulin genes were constructed by fusing murine variable region exons to human constant region exons. The ultimate goal was to produce an antibody capable of escaping surveillance by the human immune system while retaining the tumor specificity of a murine monoclonal. The murine variable regions were isolated from the functionally expressed kappa and gamma 1 immunoglobulin genes of the murine hybridoma cell line B6.2, the secreted monoclonal antibody of which reacts with a surface antigen from human breast, lung, and colon carcinomas. The kappa and gamma 1 chain fusion genes were co-introduced into non-antibody producing murine myeloma cells by electroporation. Transfectants that produced murine/human chimeric antibody were obtained at high frequency as indicated by immunoblots probed with an antisera specific for human immunoglobulin. Enzyme-linked immunoabsorbent assay analysis demonstrated that this chimeric antibody was secreted from the myeloma cells and retained the ability to bind selectively to membrane prepared from human tumor cells. The chimeric immunoglobulin was also shown by indirect fluorescence microscopy to bind to intact human carcinoma cells with specificity expected of B6.2. The ability of chimeric antibody to recognize human tumor-associated antigen makes feasible a novel approach to cancer immunotherapy.

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