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Protein Eng. 1992 Jun;5(4):343-50.

Molecular modelling and site-directed mutagenesis on a bovine anti-testosterone monoclonal antibody.

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Molecular Microbiology Group, School of Biological Sciences, University of Surrey, Guildford, UK.


A three-dimensional (3D) molecular model of the antigen-combining site of a bovine anti-testosterone monoclonal antibody has been constructed. In the model, the CDRs, and a single heavy chain framework region residue (Trp47), associate to form a hydrophobic cavity large enough to accommodate a single molecule of testosterone. Tyr97 of CDR-H3 lies at the bottom of the cavity with its hydroxyl group exposed to solvent. Using the model and data from binding studies, we predicted that the cavity forms the antibody's paratope and on binding testosterone a hydrogen bond is formed between Tyr97 of CDR-H3 and the hydroxyl group on the D-ring of testosterone. This prediction has subsequently been tested by site-directed mutagenesis. An antibody with phenylalanine in place of tyrosine at position 97 in CDR-H3 has its affinity reduced by approximately 800 fold. The reduction in binding energy associated with the reduced affinity has been calculated to be 3.9 kcal/mol which is within the range (0.5-4.0 kcal/mol) expected for the loss of a single hydrogen bond. The model has been used to suggest ways of increasing the antibody's affinity for testosterone.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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