National Center for
2A6I: Crystal structure analysis of the anti-arsonate germline antibody 36-65 in complex with a phage display derived dodecapeptide KLASIPTHTSPL
Differential epitope positioning within the germline antibody paratope enhances promiscuity in the primary immune response
Immunity (2006) 24 p.429-438
Correlation between the promiscuity of the primary antibody response and conformational flexibility in a germline antibody was addressed by using germline antibody 36-65. Crystallographic analyses of the 36-65 Fab with three independent dodecapeptides provided mechanistic insights into the generation of antibody diversity. While four antigen-free Fab molecules provided a quantitative description of the conformational repertoire of the antibody CDRs, three Fab molecules bound to structurally diverse peptide epitopes exhibited a common paratope conformation. Each peptide revealed spatially different footprints within the antigen-combining site. However, a conformation-specific lock involving two shared residues, which were also associated with hapten binding, was discernible. Unlike the hapten, the peptides interacted with residues that undergo somatic mutations, suggesting a possible mechanism for excluding "nonspecific" antigens during affinity maturation. The observed multiple binding modes of diverse epitopes within a common paratope conformation of a germline antibody reveal a simple, yet elegant, mechanism for expanding the primary antibody repertoire.