National Center for
3QNX: Orthorhombic Form Of Human Iga1 Fab Fragment, Sharing Same Fv As Igg
Structure of a human IgA1 Fab fragment at 1.55 Å resolution: potential effect of the constant domains on antigen-affinity modulation
Acta Crystallogr. D Biol. Crystallogr. (2013) 69 p.388-397
Despite being the most abundant class of immunoglobulins in humans and playing central roles in the adaptive immune response, high-resolution structural data are still lacking for the antigen-binding region of human isotype A antibodies (IgAs). The crystal structures of a human Fab fragment of IgA1 in three different crystal forms are now reported. The three-dimensional organization is similar to those of other Fab classes, but FabA1 seems to be more rigid, being constrained by a hydrophobic core in the interface between the variable and constant domains of the heavy chain (VH-CH1) as well as by a disulfide bridge that connects the light and heavy chains, influencing the relative heavy/light-chain orientation. The crystal structure of the same antibody but with a G-isotype CH1 which is reported to display different antigen affinity has also been solved. The differential structural features reveal plausible mechanisms for constant/variable-domain long-distance effects whereby antibody class switching could alter antigen affinity.