Creating stable stem regions for loop elongation in Fcabs - insights from combining yeast surface display, in silico loop reconstruction and molecular dynamics simulations.
ABSTRACT: Fcabs (Fc antigen binding) are crystallizable fragments of IgG where the C-terminal structural loops of the CH3 domain are engineered for antigen binding. For the design of libraries it is beneficial to know positions that will permit loop elongation to increase the potential interaction surface with antigen. However, the insertion of additional loop residues might impair the immunoglobulin fold. In the present work we have probed whether stabilizing mutations flanking the randomized and elongated loop region improve the quality of Fcab libraries. In detail, 13 libraries were constructed having the C-terminal part of the EF loop randomized and carrying additional residues (1, 2, 3, 5 or 10, respectively) in the absence and presence of two flanking mutations. The latter have been demonstrated to increase the thermal stability of the CH3 domain of the respective solubly expressed proteins. Assessment of the stability of the libraries expressed on the surface of yeast cells by flow cytometry demonstrated that loop elongation was considerably better tolerated in the stabilized libraries. By using in silico loop reconstruction and mimicking randomization together with MD simulations the underlying molecular dynamics were investigated. In the presence of stabilizing stem residues the backbone flexibility of the engineered EF loop as well as the fluctuation between its accessible conformations were decreased. In addition the CD loop (but not the AB loop) and most of the framework regions were rigidified. The obtained data are discussed with respect to the design of Fcabs and available data on the relation between flexibility and affinity of CDR loops in Ig-like molecules.
Project description:Fcabs (Fc domain with antigen-binding sites) are promising novel therapeutics. By engineering of the C-terminal loops of the CH3 domains, 2 antigen binding sites can be inserted in close proximity. To elucidate the binding mode(s) between homodimeric Fcabs and small homodimeric antigens, the interaction between the Fcabs 448 and CT6 (having the AB, CD and EF loops and the C-termini engineered) with homodimeric VEGF was investigated. The crystal structures of these Fcabs, which form polymers with the antigen VEGF in solution, were determined. However, construction of heterodimeric Fcabs (JanusFcabs: one chain Fc-wt, one chain VEGF-binding) results in formation of distinct JanusFcab-VEGF complexes (2:1), which allowed elucidation of the crystal structure of the JanusCT6-VEGF complex at 2.15 Å resolution. VEGF binding to Janus448 and JanusCT6 is shown to be entropically unfavorable, but enthalpically favorable. Structure-function relationships are discussed with respect to Fcab design and engineering strategies.
Project description:Antigen-binding Fc fragments (Fcab) are generated by engineering the C-terminal loop regions in the CH3 domain of human immunoglobulin G class 1-crystallizable fragment (IgG1-Fc). For an optimum library design with high percentage of well-folded clones for efficient binder selection, information about the correlation between primary structure and stability is needed. Here, we present a rapid method that allows determination of the overall stability of whole libraries of IgG1-Fc on the surface of yeast by flow cytometry. Libraries of IgG1-Fc mutants with distinct regions in AB-, CD- and EF-loops of the CH3 domains randomized or carrying therein insertions of five additional residues were constructed, incubated at increasing temperatures and probed for residual binding of generic Fc ligands. Calculated temperatures of half-maximal irreversible denaturation of the libraries gave a clear hierarchy of tolerance to randomization of distinct loop positions. Experimental data were evaluated by a computational approach and are discussed with respect to the structure of IgG1-Fc and variation in sequence and length of these loops in homologous Fc proteins. Generally, the described method allows for quick assessment of the effects of randomization of distinct regions on the foldability and stability of a yeast-displayed protein library.
Project description:The crystallizable fragment (Fc) of the immunoglobulin class G (IgG) is a very attractive scaffold for the design of novel therapeutics due to its quality of uniting all essential antibody functions. This article reviews the functionalization of this homodimeric glycoprotein by diversification of structural loops of CH3 domains for the design of Fcabs, i.e. antigen-binding Fc proteins. It reports the design of libraries for the selection of nanomolar binders with wildtype-like in vivo half-life and correlation of Fc receptor binding and ADCC. The in vitro and preclinical biological activity of selected Fcabs is compared with that of clinically approved antibodies. Recently, the great potential of the scaffold for the development of therapeutics for clinical use has been shown when the HER2-binding Fcab FS102 entered clinical phase I. Furthermore, methods for the engineering of biophysical properties of Fcabs applicable to proteins in general are presented as well as the different approaches in the design of heterodimeric Fc-based scaffolds used in the generation of bispecific monoclonal antibodies. Finally, this work critically analyzes and compares the various efforts in the design of highly diverse and functional libraries that have been made in the engineering of IgG1-Fc and structurally similar scaffolds.
Project description:For most therapeutic proteins, a long serum half-life is desired. Studies have shown that decreased antigen binding at acidic pH can increase serum half-life. In this study, we aimed to investigate whether pH-dependent binding sites can be introduced into antigen binding crystallizable fragments of immunoglobulin G1 (Fcab). The C-terminal structural loops of an Fcab were engineered for reduced binding to the extracellular domain of human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (Her2-ECD) at pH 6 compared to pH 7.4. A yeast-displayed Fcab-library was alternately selected for binding at pH 7.4 and non-binding at pH 6.0. Selected Fcab variants showed clear pH-dependent binding to soluble Her2-ECD (decrease in affinity at pH 6.0 compared to pH 7.4) when displayed on yeast. Additionally, some solubly expressed variants exhibited pH-dependent interactions with Her2-positive cells whereas their conformational and thermal stability was pH-independent. Interestingly, two of the three Fcabs did not contain a single histidine mutation but all of them contained variations next to histidines that already occurred in loops of the lead Fcab. The study demonstrates that yeast surface display is a valuable tool for directed evolution of pH-dependent binding sites in proteins.
Project description:Recent studies have demonstrated that IgG-Fc fragments (Fcabs) can be engineered to form antigen-binding sites with antibody properties. Thus they may serve as an attractive alternative to conventional antibodies in therapeutic applications. The critical influence of Fc glycosylation on effector functions of IgGs is well documented; however, whether this applies to Fcabs is not known. Here we used human cells, wild type, and glycoengineered plants to generate four different glycoforms of H10-03-6, an Fcab with engineered HER2/neu-binding sites. Plant-derived H10-03-6 differed in the presence/absence of single oligosaccharide residues, i.e., core fucose and xylose, and terminal galactose. All of the glycoforms had similar binding to HER2/neu expressed on human tumor cells. By contrast, glycoforms that lacked core oligosaccharide modifications (i.e., core ?1,3-fucose and ?1,2-xylose) showed significantly enhanced binding to the Fc? receptor IIIa, irrespective of whether plant or human expression systems were used. Consistent with this finding, plant-derived H10-03-6 glycoforms lacking core N-glycan residues mediated higher antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity against human tumor cells. No alteration in ?-receptor binding and antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity activity was observed upon decoration of N-glycans by terminal galactose. The results point to a significant impact of distinct N-glycan residues on effector functions of Fcabs. Moreover, the outcomes imply that the effector functions mediated by H10-03-6 can be optimized by altering the N-glycosylation profile. Biasing vaccine-induced immune responses toward optimal Fc glycosylation patterns could result in improved vaccine efficacy.
Project description:Calmodulin is trimethylated by a specific methyltransferase on Lys115, a residue located in a six amino acid loop (LGEKLT) between EF hands III and IV. To investigate the structural requirements for methylation, domain exchange mutants as well as single point mutations of conserved methylation loop residues (E114A, Glu114-->Ala; L116T, Leu116-->Thr) were generated. E114A and L116T activated cyclic nucleotide phosphodiesterase (PDE) and NAD+ kinase (NADK) similar to wild-type calmodulin, but lost their ability to be methylated. Domain exchange mutants in which EF hand III or IV was replaced by EF hand I or II respectively (CaM1214 and CaM1232 respectively) showed a modest effect on PDE and NADK activation (50 to 100% of wild-type), but calmodulin methylation was abolished. A third domain exchange mutant, CaMEKL, has the methylation loop sequence placed at a symmetrical position between EF hands I and II in the N-terminal lobe [residues QNP(41-43) replaced by EKL]. CaMEKL activated PDE normally, but did not activate NADK. However, CaMEKL retained the ability to bind to NADK and inhibited activation by wild-type calmodulin. Site-directed mutagenesis of single residues showed that Gln41 and Pro43 substitutions had the strongest effect on NADK activation. Additionally, CaMEKL was not methylated, suggesting that the introduction of the methylation loop between EF hands I and II is not adequate for methyltransferase recognition. Overall the data indicate that residues in the methylation loop are essential but not sufficient for methyltransferase recognition, and that additional residues unique to EF hands III and IV are required. Secondly, the QNP sequence in the loop between EF hands I and II is necessary for NADK activation.
Project description:Calcium binding and signaling orchestrate a wide variety of essential cellular functions, many of which employ the EF-hand Ca2+ binding motif. The ion binding parameters of this motif are controlled, in part, by the structure of its Ca2+ binding loop, termed the EF-loop. The EF-loops of different proteins are carefully specialized, or fine-tuned, to yield optimized Ca2+ binding parameters for their unique cellular roles. The present study uses a structurally homologous Ca2+ binding loop, that of the Escherichia coli galactose binding protein, as a model for the EF-loop in studies examining the contribution of the third loop position to intramolecular tuning. 10 different side chains are compared at the third position of the model EF-loop with respect to their effects on protein stability, sugar binding, and metal binding equilibria and kinetics. Substitution of an acidic Asp side chain for the native Asn is found to generate a 6,000-fold increase in the ion selectivity for trivalent over divalent cations, providing strong support for the electrostatic repulsion model of divalent cation charge selectivity. Replacement of Asn by neutral side chains differing in size and shape each alter the ionic size selectivity in a similar manner, supporting a model in which large-ion size selectivity is controlled by complex interactions between multiple side chains rather than by the dimensions of a single coordinating side chain. Finally, the pattern of perturbations generated by side chain substitutions helps to explain the prevalence of Asn and Asp at the third position of natural EF-loops and provides further evidence supporting the unique kinetic tuning role of the gateway side chain at the ninth EF-loop position.
Project description:As an oxidative stress sensor, transient receptor potential melastatin 2 (TRPM2) channel is involved in many physiological and pathological processes including warmth sensing, ischemia injury, inflammatory diseases and diabetes. Intracellular calcium is critical for TRPM2 channel activation and the IQ-like motif in the N-terminus has been shown to be important by mediating calmodulin binding. Sequence analysis predicted two potential EF-loops in the N-terminus of TRPM2. Site-directed mutagenesis combining with functional assay showed that substitution with alanine of several residues, most of which are conserved in the typical EF-loop, including D267, D278, D288, and E298 dramatically reduced TRPM2 channel currents. By further changing the charges or side chain length of these conserved residues, our results indicate that the negative charge of D267 and the side chain length of D278 are critical for calcium-induced TRPM2 channel activation. G272I mutation also dramatically reduced the channel currents, suggesting that this site is critical for calcium-induced TRPM2 channel activation. Furthermore, D267A mutant dramatically reduced the currents induced by calcium alone compared with that by ADPR, indicating that D267 residue in D267-D278 motif is the most important site for calcium sensitivity of TRPM2. In addition, inside-out recordings showed that mutations at D267, G272, D278, and E298 had no effect on single-channel conductance. Taken together, our data indicate that D267-D278 motif in the N-terminus as a novel EF-loop is critical for calcium-induced TRPM2 channel activation.
Project description:The HI loop is a prominent domain on the adeno-associated virus (AAV) capsid surface that extends from each viral protein (VP) subunit overlapping the neighboring fivefold VP. Despite the highly conserved nature of the residues at the fivefold pore, the HI loops surrounding this critical region vary significantly in amino acid sequence between the AAV serotypes. In order to understand the role of this unique capsid domain, we ablated side chain interactions between the HI loop and the underlying EF loop in the neighboring VP subunit by generating a collection of deletion, insertion, and substitution mutants. A mutant lacking the HI loop was unable to assemble particles, while a substitution mutant (10 glycine residues) assembled particles but was unable to package viral genomes. Substitution mutants carrying corresponding regions from AAV1, AAV4, AAV5, and AAV8 yielded (i) particles with titers and infectivity identical to those of AAV2 (AAV2 HI1 and HI8), (ii) particles with a decreased virus titer (1 log) but normal infectivity (HI4), and (iii) particles that synthesized VPs but were unable to assemble into intact capsids (HI5). AAV5 HI is shorter than all other HI loops by one amino acid. Replacing the missing residue (threonine) in AAV2 HI5 resulted in a moderate particle assembly rescue. In addition, we replaced the HI loop with peptides varying in length and amino acid sequence. This region tolerated seven-amino-acid peptide substitutions unless they spanned a conserved phenylalanine at amino acid position 661. Mutation of this highly conserved phenylalanine to a glycine resulted in a modest decrease in virus titer but a substantial decrease (1 log order) in infectivity. Subsequently, confocal studies revealed that AAV2 F661G is incapable of efficiently completing a key step in the infectious pathway nuclear entry, hinting at a possible perturbation of VP1 phospholipase activity. Molecular modeling studies with the F661G mutant suggest that disruption of interactions between F661 and an underlying P373 residue in the EF loop of the neighboring subunit might adversely affect incorporation of the VP1 subunit at the fivefold axis. Western blot analysis confirmed inefficient incorporation of VP1, as well as a proteolytically processed VP1 subunit that could account for the markedly reduced infectivity. In summary, our studies show that the HI loop, while flexible in amino acid sequence, is critical for AAV capsid assembly, proper VP1 subunit incorporation, and viral genome packaging, all of which implies a potential role for this unique surface domain in viral infectivity.
Project description:The proteorhodopsin family consists of retinal proteins of marine bacterial origin with optical properties adjusted to their local environments. For green proteorhodopsin, a highly specific mutation in the EF loop, A178R, has been found to cause a surprisingly large redshift of 20 nm despite its distance from the chromophore. Here, we analyze structural and functional consequences of this EF loop mutation by time-resolved optical spectroscopy and solid-state NMR. We found that the primary photoreaction and the formation of the K-like photo intermediate is almost pH-independent and slower compared to the wild-type, whereas the decay of the K-intermediate is accelerated, suggesting structural changes within the counterion complex upon mutation. The photocycle is significantly elongated mainly due to an enlarged lifetime of late photo intermediates. Multidimensional MAS-NMR reveals mutation-induced chemical shift changes propagating from the EF loop to the chromophore binding pocket, whereas dynamic nuclear polarization-enhanced (13)C-double quantum MAS-NMR has been used to probe directly the retinylidene conformation. Our data show a modified interaction network between chromophore, Schiff base, and counterion complex explaining the altered optical and kinetic properties. In particular, the mutation-induced distorted structure in the EF loop weakens interactions, which help reorienting helix F during the reprotonation step explaining the slower photocycle. These data lead to the conclusion that the EF loop plays an important role in proton uptake from the cytoplasm but our data also reveal a clear interaction pathway between the EF loop and retinal binding pocket, which might be an evolutionary conserved communication pathway in retinal proteins.