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An engineered Fc fusion protein that targets antigen-specific T cells and autoantibodies mitigates autoimmune disease.

Current effective therapies for autoimmune diseases rely on systemic immunomodulation that broadly affects all T and/or B cell responses. An ideal therapeutic approach would combine autoantigen-specific targeting of both T and B cell effector functions, including efficient removal of pathogenic autoantibodies. Albeit multiple strategies to induce T cell tolerance in an autoantigen-specific manner have been proposed, therapeutic removal of autoantibodies remains a significant challenge. Here, we devised an approach to target both autoantigen-specific T cells and autoantibodies by producing a central nervous system (CNS) autoantigen myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein (MOG)-Fc fusion protein. We demonstrate that MOG-Fc fusion protein has significantly higher bioavailability than monomeric MOG and is efficient in clearing anti-MOG autoantibodies from circulation. We also show that MOG-Fc promotes T cell tolerance and protects mice from MOG-induced autoimmune encephalomyelitis. This multipronged targeting approach may be therapeutically advantageous in the treatment of autoimmunity.

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