Structural studies of two anti-carbohydrate antibodies

Date

2013-05-13

Authors

Evans, Dylan W.

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Abstract

This thesis is focused on determining the structures of two anti-carbohydrate antibodies to understand how they achieve their specificity toward antigen. First, the structure of the antigen-binding fragment from the monoclonal antibody S64-4 in complex with a pentasaccharide bisphosphate fragment from chlamydial lipopolysaccharide (LPS) has been determined by x-ray diffraction to 2.6 Å resolution. Like the well-characterized antibody S25-2, S64-4 displays a pocket formed by the residues of germline sequence corresponding to the heavy and light chain V gene segments that binds the terminal Kdo (3-deoxy-α-D-manno-oct-2-ulopyranosonic acid) residue of the antigen; however, although S64-4 shares the same heavy chain V gene segment as S25-2, it has a different light chain V gene segment. The new light chain V gene segment codes for a combining site that displays greater avidity, different specificity, and allows a novel antigen conformation that brings a greater number of antigen residues into the combining site than possible in S25-2. Further, while antibodies in the S25-2 family use complementarity determining region (CDR) H3 to discriminate among antigens, S64-4 achieves its specificity via the new light chain V gene segment and resulting change in antigen conformation. These structures reveal an intriguing parallel strategy where two different combinations of germline-coded V gene segments can act as starting points for the generation of germline antibodies against chlamydial antigens and show how anti-carbohydrate antibodies can exploit the conformational flexibility of this class of antigens to achieve high avidity and specificity independently of CDR H3. Second, the structure of a rabbit, single chain variable fragment against terminal mannose-6-phosphate (Man6P) residues, termed scFv M6P-1, has been determined by x-ray diffraction to 2.7 Å resolution with Man6P in the binding site. The Man6P pathway is the predominant pathway that transports acid hydrolases from the trans-Golgi to endosomes. Newly synthesized hydrolases first require the generation of Man6P markers before they can be transported. Maintaining a full complement of hydrolases within lysosomes is essential as failure to do so results in a number of different lysosomal storage diseases. Due to its specificity, scFv M6P-1 is able to diagnose lysosomal storage diseases mucolipidosis II and mucolipidosis III. scFv M6P-1 is also able to purify Man6P containing proteins which may be useful for enzyme replacement therapies. Additionally, scFv M6P-1 is one of the first structures of an antibody fragment that exhibits high specificity for a single carbohydrate residue and is one of the first structures of a rabbit antibody fragment. The specificity of scFv M6P-1, which gives it these unique attributes, is revealed in the structure where multiple hydrogen bonds are seen between the antibody’s heavy chain and the mannose ring while two salt bridges are observed between the antibody’s light chain and the phosphate moiety. Finally, scFv M6P-1 binds in such a way as to allow binding to proteins possessing terminal Man6P residues. Crystallographic challenges that arose during this research included poor crystal growth as well as twinning and these are explored while the structure of scFv M6P-1 complex with Man6P is analysed.

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Keywords

crystal structure, specificity, twinning, Chlamydia, antibody

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