Tumor-reactive antibodies evolve from non-binding and autoreactive precursors

Roei D. Mazor, Nachum Nathan, Amit Gilboa, Liat Stoler-Barak, Lihee Moss, Inna Solomonov, Assaf Hanuna, Yalin Divinsky, Merav D. Shmueli, Hadas Hezroni, Irina Zaretsky, Michael Mor, Ofra Golani, Gad Sabah, Ariella Jakobson-Setton, Natalia Yanichkin, Meora Feinmesser, Daliah Tsoref, Lina Salman, Effi YeoshouaEyal Peretz, Inna Erlich, Netta Mendelson Cohen, Jonathan M. Gershoni, Natalia Freund, Yifat Merbl, Gur Yaari, Ram Eitan, Irit Sagi, Ziv Shulman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The tumor microenvironment hosts antibody-secreting cells (ASCs) associated with a favorable prognosis in several types of cancer. Patient-derived antibodies have diagnostic and therapeutic potential; yet, it remains unclear how antibodies gain autoreactivity and target tumors. Here, we found that somatic hypermutations (SHMs) promote antibody antitumor reactivity against surface autoantigens in high-grade serous ovarian carcinoma (HGSOC). Patient-derived tumor cells were frequently coated with IgGs. Intratumoral ASCs in HGSOC were both mutated and clonally expanded and produced tumor-reactive antibodies that targeted MMP14, which is abundantly expressed on the tumor cell surface. The reversion of monoclonal antibodies to their germline configuration revealed two types of classes: one dependent on SHMs for tumor binding and a second with germline-encoded autoreactivity. Thus, tumor-reactive autoantibodies are either naturally occurring or evolve through an antigen-driven selection process. These findings highlight the origin and potential applicability of autoantibodies directed at surface antigens for tumor targeting in cancer patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1208-1222.e21
Issue number7
StatePublished - 31 Mar 2022


  • B cells
  • MMP14
  • MT1-MMP
  • antibodies
  • antibody-mediated immune response
  • autoantibodies
  • cancer
  • ovarian cancer
  • plasma cells


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