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Tolerogenic properties of the Fc portion of IgG and its relevance to the treatment and management of hemophilia

Richard S. Blumberg, David Lillicrap and the IgG Fc Immune Tolerance Group

Abstract

Hemophilia, or inherited genetic deficiencies in coagulation factors, results in uncontrolled bleeding requiring replacement therapy with recombinant proteins given preventively or on demand. However, a major problem with these approaches is the potential for development of immune responses to the administered proteins due to the underlying genetic deficiency of the factor(s) throughout life. As such, there is great interest in developing strategies that avoid immunogenicity and induce immune tolerance. Recently, recombinant factor VIII (rFVIII) and rFIX fused to the crystallizable fragment (Fc) domain of immunoglobulin G (IgG) have been developed as therapeutic agents for hemophilia A and B, respectively. Although it is well known that the possession of an Fc domain confers IgG’s longer-lasting circulating half-life, it is not generally appreciated that the Fc domain also confers immunoregulatory properties that are associated with the induction of tolerance. Here, we review some of the latest advances in our understanding of the tolerogenic abilities of IgG Fc and the impact of Fc-fusion proteins of rFVIII on the treatment of hemophilia.

  • Submitted December 20, 2017.
  • Accepted March 15, 2018.
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