A new combination of fluorescent dyes (rhodamine 123 and hydroethidine) was used to internally label hybridoma fusion partners. Murine hybridoma 520C9 (recognizing human c-erbB-2) was labeled with hydroethidine. Murine hybridoma 3G8 (recognizing human Fc gamma receptor III) was labeled with rhodamine 123, and verapamil was used to block rhodamine efflux via P-glycoprotein. Viability assays showed little cytotoxicity from these dyes at the concentrations used. The labeled cells were fused with polyethylene glycol, sorted for dual fluorescence on an Epics V cell sorter, and cloned. Hybrid hybridomas producing bispecific antibodies were selected for ability to promote lysis of SK-Br-3 breast cancer cells by human mononuclear cells. Several positive clones were obtained and shown to have a double content of DNA. Bispecific antibody produced by subclone 2B1 was purified by anion exchange chromatography and shown to bind both tumor cells and Fc gamma R III bearing cells. Using two parameter flow cytometric analysis, we were able to measure a 'bridging' effect of this bispecific antibody, which caused formation of complexes between PMNs and SK-Br-3 cells. Either parental antibody could compete with bispecific antibody to block such complexing. This fusion method provides several advantages over other techniques presently used (speed, convenience, low toxicity and automatic exclusion of dead cells) and can be applied to produce other hybrid hybridomas.
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