Activation of cytotoxic T cells without MHC restriction was attempted by expressing single-chain antibodies (scFv) against CD3 on the surface of tumor cells. A chimeric protein consisting of a scFv of mAb 145.2C11, the hinge-CH2-CH3 region of human IgG1, and the transmembrane and cytosolic domains of murine CD80 formed disulfide-linked dimers on the plasma membrane of cells and specifically bound lymphocytes. Anti-CD3 scFv dimers expressed on the cell surface induced CD25 (IL-2 receptor α-chain) expression and proliferation of splenocytes. CT26 tumor cells engineered to express surface scFv dimers (CT26/2C11) also induced potent lymphocyte cytotoxicity with or without addition of exogenous IL-2. Splenocytes activated by CT26/2C11 cells also killed wild-type CT26 cells, indicating that activated splenocytes could kill bystander tumor cells. Immunization of BALB/c mice with irradiated CT26/2C11 cells did not protect against a lethal challenge of CT26 cells, suggesting that systemic immunity was not induced. However, the growth of CT26 tumors containing 50% CT26/2C11 cells was significantly retarded compared with CT26 tumors, whereas CT26/2C11 tumors did not grow in syngeneic mice. These results suggest that expression of anti-CD3 scFv dimers on tumors may form the basis for a novel therapeutic strategy for tumors that exhibit defects in antigen processing or presentation.
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