Characterization of variant diphtheria toxin-interleukin-3 fusion protein, DTIL3K116W, for phase I clinical trials

Yunpeng Su, Shi Yan Li, Sunil Ghosh, Janelle Ortiz, Donna E. Hogge, Arthur E. Frankel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


We have produced clinical grade of DTIL3K116W, a variant diphtheria toxin-interleukin-3 fusion protein, for treatment of acute myeloid leukemia. The product was filter sterilized, aseptically vialed, and stored at -80 °C. It was characterized by Coomassie-stained SDS-PAGE, endotoxin assay, cytotoxicity assay, sterility, mass spectroscopy, receptor binding affinity, ADP-ribosylation, inhibition of normal human CFU-GM, disulfide bond analysis, immunoblots, stability, size exclusion chromatography-HPLC, sequencing, and immunohistochemistry. Vialed product was sterile in 0.25 M NaCl/5 mM Tris, pH 7.9, and had a protein concentration of 1.08 mg/ml. Purity by SDS-PAGE was >99%. Aggregates by HPLC were <1%. Endotoxin levels were 0.296 EU/mg. Peptide mapping and mass spectroscopy confirmed its composition and molecular weight. The vialed drug kept reactivity with anti-IL3 and DT antibodies. Potency study revealed a 48-h EC50 of 0.5 pM on TF1/H-ras cell. Its binding properties were confirmed by competitive experiments showing IC50 of 1.4 nM. ADP-ribosylation activity was equivalent to DTGM-CSF. Drug did not react with tested frozen human tissue sections by immunohistochemistry. There was no evidence of loss of solubility, proteolysis aggregation, or loss of potency over 6 months at -80 °C. Further, the drug was stable at 4 and 25 °C in the plastic syringe and administration tubing for 48 h.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)144-149
Number of pages6
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2010


  • Diphtheria toxin
  • Interleukin-3

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Bioengineering
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)
  • Pharmacology


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