The extracellular domain of tumour necrosis factor (TNF) receptor II fused with the human IgG1 Fc region (TNFRII-Fc), as well as antibodies against TNF, has been used to treat rheumatoid arthritis. However, TNFRII-Fc is less effective than these antibodies in terms of antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity (ADCC) and complement-dependent cytotoxicity (CDC) against cells bearing TNF on the cell surface. We hypothesized that these activities could be increased by fusing TNFRII with tandemly repeated Fc (TNFRII-Fc-Fc). The affinities of TNFRII-Fc-Fc for soluble TNF-α and transmembrane TNF-α and the TNF-α cytotoxicity-inhibitory activity were as potent as those of TNFRII-Fc. TNFRII-Fc-Fc showed much higher binding avidity for Fcγ receptors than TNFRII-Fc and was more potent in terms of both ADCC and CDC against cells expressing transmembrane TNF-α. TNFRII-Fc-Fc of 80 kDa, as well as TNFRII-Fc-Fc of 200 kDa, was detected. TNFRII-Fc-Fc (80 kDa) was as potent as TNFRII-Fc in terms of both ADCC and CDC. These results suggest that Fc multimerization of receptor-Fc fusion proteins can augment effector functions such as ADCC and CDC, and thereby have the potential to provide a superior therapeutic effect. This may be the case not only for TNFRII-Fc but also for other receptor-Fc fusion proteins.

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