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Biochemistry. 1995 May 23;34(20):6737-44.

Evidence for the extended helical nature of polysaccharide epitopes. The 2.8 A resolution structure and thermodynamics of ligand binding of an antigen binding fragment specific for alpha-(2-->8)-polysialic acid.

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Institute for Biological Sciences, National Research Council of Canada, Ottawa.


The antigen binding fragment from an IgG2a kappa murine monoclonal antibody with specificity for alpha-(2-->8)-linked sialic acid polymers has been prepared and crystallized in the absence of hapten. Crystals were grown by vapor diffusion equilibrium with 16-18% polyethylene glycol 4000 solutions. The structure was solved by molecular replacement methods and refined to a conventional R factor of 0.164 for data to 2.8 A. The binding site is observed to display a shape and distribution of charges that is complementary to that of the predicted conformation of the oligosaccharide epitope. A thermodynamic description of ligand binding has been compiled for oligosaccharides ranging in length from 9 to 41 residues, and the data for the largest ligand has been used in a novel way to estimate the size of the antigen binding site. A model of antigen binding is presented that satisfies this thermodynamic data, as well as a previously reported requirement of conformational specificity of the oligosaccharide. X-ray crystallographic and thermodynamic evidence are consistent with a binding site that accommodates at least eight sialic acid residues.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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