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J Mol Biol. 2004 Sep 10;342(2):539-50.

Fine epitope mapping of anti-epidermal growth factor receptor antibodies through random mutagenesis and yeast surface display.

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Department of Chemical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, MIT 66-552, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA.

Erratum in

  • J Mol Biol. 2005 Mar 11;346(5):1455.


Fine epitope mapping of therapeutically relevant monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) specific for the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) was accomplished through random mutagenesis and yeast surface display. Using this method, we have identified key residues energetically important for the binding of EGFR to the mAbs 806, 225, and 13A9. A yeast-displayed library of single point mutants of an EGFR ectodomain fragment (residues 273-621) was constructed by random mutagenesis and was screened for reduced binding to EGFR mAbs. If an EGFR mutant showed loss of binding to a mAb, this suggested that the mutated residue was potentially a contact residue. The mAb 806 binding epitope was localized to one face of a loop comprised of EGFR residues Cys287-Cys302, which is constrained by a disulfide bond and two salt bridges. The mAb 806 epitope as identified here is not fully accessible in the autoinhibited EGFR monomer conformation, which is consistent with the hypothesis that mAb 806 binds to a transitional form of EGFR as it changes from an autoinhibited to extended monomer. The amino acids Lys465 and Ile467 were identified as energetic hot spot residues for mAb 225 binding to EGFR. These residues are adjacent to the EGFR ligand-binding site, which is consistent with the ability of mAb 225 to block binding of epidermal growth factor (EGF) and transforming growth factor-alpha (TGF-alpha) ligands. Ser468 and Glu472 were identified as energetically important for mAb 13A9 binding to EGFR, and the location of this epitope suggests that mAb 13A9 mediates observed TGF-alpha blocking effects through conformational perturbation of EGFR domain III. Combinatorial library screening of yeast-displayed mutagenic proteins is a novel method to identify discontinuous and heat-denaturable mAb binding epitopes with residue-level resolution.

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