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J Mol Model. 2010 Dec;16(12):1883-93. doi: 10.1007/s00894-010-0680-1. Epub 2010 Mar 16.

Modeling the three-dimensional structures of an unbound single-chain variable fragment (scFv) and its hypothetical complex with a Corynespora cassiicola toxin, cassiicolin.

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Biomedical Informatics Center, PGIMER, Chandigarh 160012, India.


Rubber trees infected with a host-specific cassiicolin toxin often experience considerable leaf fall, which in turn results in loss of crop productivity. It was recently revealed that cassiicolin-specific single-chain variable fragments (scFv) can successfully reduce the toxic effects of cassiicolin. However, the detailed mechanism of antibody action remains poorly understood. The primary sequence of the newly sequenced cassiicolin-specific scFv was highly homologous to several members of single-chain antibodies in the 14B7 family. In this study, with the aid of homology modeling, the three-dimensional structure of cassiicolin-specific scFv was elucidated, and was found to exhibit a characteristic immunoglobulin fold that mainly consists of β sheets. Additionally, molecular docking between the modeled scFv antibody and the available three-dimensional crystal structure of cassiicolin toxin was also performed. The predicted structural complex and the change in accessible surface area between the toxin and the scFv antibody upon complexation reveal the potential role of certain complementarity determining region (CDR) amino acid residues in the formation of the complex. These computational results suggest that mutagenesis experiments that are aimed at validating the model and improving the binding affinity of cassiicolin-specific scFv antibodies for the toxin should be performed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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