Atomistic Modeling of Scattering Curves for Human IgG1/4 Reveals New Structure-Function Insights.
ABSTRACT: Small angle x-ray and neutron scattering are techniques that give solution structures for large macromolecules. The creation of physically realistic atomistic models from known high-resolution structures to determine joint x-ray and neutron scattering best-fit structures offers a, to our knowledge, new method that significantly enhances the utility of scattering. To validate this approach, we determined scattering curves for two human antibody subclasses, immunoglobulin G (IgG) 1 and IgG4, on five different x-ray and neutron instruments to show that these were reproducible, then we modeled these by Monte Carlo simulations. The two antibodies have different hinge lengths that connect their antigen-binding Fab and effector-binding Fc regions. Starting from 231,492 and 190,437 acceptable conformations for IgG1 and IgG4, respectively, joint x-ray and neutron scattering curve fits gave low goodness-of-fit R factors for 28 IgG1 and 2748 IgG4 structures that satisfied the disulphide connectivity in their hinges. These joint best-fit structures showed that the best-fit IgG1 models had a greater separation between the centers of their Fab regions than those for IgG4, in agreement with their hinge lengths of 15 and 12 residues, respectively. The resulting asymmetric IgG1 solution structures resembled its crystal structure. Both symmetric and asymmetric solution structures were determined for IgG4. Docking simulations with our best-fit IgG4 structures showed greater steric clashes with its receptor to explain its weaker Fc?RI receptor binding compared to our best-fit IgG1 structures with fewer clashes and stronger receptor binding. Compared to earlier approaches for fitting molecular antibody structures by solution scattering, we conclude that this joint fit approach based on x-ray and neutron scattering data, combined with Monte Carlo simulations, significantly improved our understanding of antibody solution structures. The atomistic nature of the output extended our understanding of known functional differences in Fc receptor binding between IgG1 and IgG4.
Project description:Human IgG2 antibody displays distinct therapeutically-useful properties compared with the IgG1, IgG3, and IgG4 antibody subclasses. IgG2 is the second most abundant IgG subclass, being able to bind human Fc?RII/Fc?RIII but not to Fc?RI or complement C1q. Structural information on IgG2 is limited by the absence of a full-length crystal structure for this. To this end, we determined the solution structure of human myeloma IgG2 by atomistic X-ray and neutron-scattering modeling. Analytical ultracentrifugation disclosed that IgG2 is monomeric with a sedimentation coefficient (s 20, w 0) of 7.2 S. IgG2 dimer formation was ?5% and independent of the buffer conditions. Small-angle X-ray scattering in a range of NaCl concentrations and in light and heavy water revealed that the X-ray radius of gyration (Rg ) is 5.2-5.4 nm, after allowing for radiation damage at higher concentrations, and that the neutron Rg value of 5.0 nm remained unchanged in all conditions. The X-ray and neutron distance distribution curves (P(r)) revealed two peaks, M1 and M2, that were unchanged in different buffers. The creation of >123,000 physically-realistic atomistic models by Monte Carlo simulations for joint X-ray and neutron-scattering curve fits, constrained by the requirement of correct disulfide bridges in the hinge, resulted in the determination of symmetric Y-shaped IgG2 structures. These molecular structures were distinct from those for asymmetric IgG1 and asymmetric and symmetric IgG4 and were attributable to the four hinge disulfides. Our IgG2 structures rationalize the existence of the human IgG1, IgG2, and IgG4 subclasses and explain the receptor-binding functions of IgG2.
Project description:The human IgG1 antibody subclass shows distinct properties compared with the IgG2, IgG3, and IgG4 subclasses and is the most exploited subclass in therapeutic antibodies. It is the most abundant subclass, has a half-life as long as that of IgG2 and IgG4, binds the Fc?R receptor, and activates complement. There is limited structural information on full-length human IgG1 because of the challenges of crystallization. To rectify this, we have studied the solution structures of two human IgG1 6a and 19a monoclonal antibodies in different buffers at different temperatures. Analytical ultracentrifugation showed that both antibodies were predominantly monomeric, with sedimentation coefficients s20,w (0) of 6.3-6.4 S. Only a minor dimer peak was observed, and the amount was not dependent on buffer conditions. Solution scattering showed that the x-ray radius of gyration Rg increased with salt concentration, whereas the neutron Rg values remained unchanged with temperature. The x-ray and neutron distance distribution curves P(r) revealed two peaks, M1 and M2, whose positions were unchanged in different buffers to indicate conformational stability. Constrained atomistic scattering modeling revealed predominantly asymmetric solution structures for both antibodies with extended hinge structures. Both structures were similar to the only known crystal structure of full-length human IgG1. The Fab conformations in both structures were suitably positioned to permit the Fc region to bind readily to its Fc?R and C1q ligands without steric clashes, unlike human IgG4. Our molecular models for human IgG1 explain its immune activities, and we discuss its stability and function for therapeutic applications.
Project description:Human IgG4 antibody shows therapeutically useful properties compared with the IgG1, IgG2, and IgG3 subclasses. Thus IgG4 does not activate complement and shows conformational variability. These properties are attributable to its hinge region, which is the shortest of the four IgG subclasses. Using high throughput scattering methods, we studied the solution structure of wild-type IgG4(Ser(222)) and a hinge mutant IgG4(Pro(222)) in different buffers and temperatures where the proline substitution suppresses the formation of half-antibody. Analytical ultracentrifugation showed that both IgG4 forms were principally monomeric with sedimentation coefficients s20,w(0) of 6.6-6.8 S. A monomer-dimer equilibrium was observed in heavy water buffer at low temperature. Scattering showed that the x-ray radius of gyration Rg was unchanged with concentration in 50-250 mm NaCl buffers, whereas the neutron Rg values showed a concentration-dependent increase as the temperature decreased in heavy water buffers. The distance distribution curves (P(r)) revealed two peaks, M1 and M2, that shifted below 2 mg/ml to indicate concentration-dependent IgG4 structures in addition to IgG4 dimer formation at high concentration in heavy water. Constrained x-ray and neutron scattering modeling revealed asymmetric solution structures for IgG4(Ser(222)) with extended hinge structures. The IgG4(Pro(222)) structure was similar. Both IgG4 structures showed that their Fab regions were positioned close enough to the Fc region to restrict C1q binding. Our new molecular models for IgG4 explain its inability to activate complement and clarify aspects of its stability and function for therapeutic applications.
Project description:X-ray and neutron-scattering techniques characterize proteins in solution and complement high-resolution structural studies. They are useful when either a large protein cannot be crystallized, in which case scattering yields a solution structure, or a crystal structure has been determined and requires validation in solution. These solution structures are determined by the application of constrained modelling methods based on known subunit structures. First, an appropriate starting model is generated. Next, its conformation is randomized to generate thousands of models for trial-and-error fits. Comparison with the experimental data identifies a small family of best-fit models. Finally, their significance for biological function is assessed. We illustrate this in application to structure determinations for secretory immunoglobulin A, the most prevalent antibody in the human body and a first line of defence in mucosal immunity. We also discuss the applications to the large multi-domain proteins of the complement system, most notably its major regulator factor H, which is important in age-related macular degeneration and renal diseases. We discuss the importance of complementary data from analytical ultracentrifugation, and structural studies of protein-protein complexes. We conclude that constrained scattering modelling makes useful contributions to our understanding of antibody and complement structure and function.
Project description:Small-angle X-ray and neutron scattering techniques characterize proteins in solution and complement high-resolution structural studies. They are of particular utility when large proteins cannot be crystallized or when the structure is altered by solution conditions. Atomistic models of the averaged structure can be generated through constrained modelling, a technique in which known domain or subunit structures are combined with linker models to produce candidate global conformations. By randomizing the configuration adopted by the different elements of the model, thousands of candidate structures are produced. Next, theoretical scattering curves are generated for each model for trial-and-error fits to the experimental data. From these, a small family of best-fit models is identified. In order to facilitate both the computation of theoretical scattering curves from atomistic models and their comparison with experiment, the SCT suite of tools was developed. SCT also includes programs that provide sequence-based estimates of protein volume (either incorporating hydration or not) and add a hydration layer to models for X-ray scattering modelling. The original SCT software, written in Fortran, resulted in the first atomistic scattering structures to be deposited in the Protein Data Bank, and 77?structures for antibodies, complement proteins and anionic oligosaccharides were determined between 1998 and 2014. For the first time, this software is publicly available, alongside an easier-to-use reimplementation of the same algorithms in Python. Both versions of SCT have been released as open-source software under the Apache 2 license and are available for download from https://github.com/dww100/sct.
Project description:We have employed the recently described crystallohydrodynamic approach to compare the time-averaged domain orientation of human chimeric IgG3wt (wild-type) and IgG4wt as well as two hinge mutants of IgG3 and an IgG4S331P (mutation from serine to proline at position 331, EU numbering) mutant of IgG4. The approach involves combination of the known shape of the Fab and Fc regions from crystallography with hydrodynamic data for the Fab and Fc fragments and hydrodynamic and small angle x-ray scattering data for the intact IgG structures. In this way, ad hoc assumptions over hydration can be avoided and model degeneracy (uniqueness problems) can be minimized. The best fit model for the solution structure of IgG3wt demonstrated that the Fab regions are directed away from the plane of the Fc region and with a long extended hinge region in between. The best fit model of the IgG3m15 mutant with a short hinge (and enhanced complement activation activity) showed a more open, but asymmetric structure. The IgG3HM5 mutant devoid of a hinge region (and also devoid of complement-activation activity) could not be distinguished at the low-resolution level from the structure of the enhanced complement-activating mutant IgG3m15. The lack of inter-heavy-chain disulphide bond rather than a significantly different domain orientation may be the reason for the lack of complement-activating activity of the IgG3HM5 mutant. With IgG4, there are significant and interesting conformational differences between the wild-type IgG4, which shows a symmetric structure, and the IgG4S331P mutant, which shows a highly asymmetric structure. This structural difference may explain the ability of the IgG4S331P mutant to activate complement in stark contrast to the wild-type IgG4 molecule which is devoid of this activity.
Project description:alpha 1-Antitrypsin is the best-characterized member of the serpin (serine-proteinase inhibitor) superfamily. Its solution structure was studied by high-flux neutron-scattering and synchrotron X-ray-scattering. Neutron data show that its absorption coefficient A1% 280,1cm is 5.4. The neutron radius of gyration RG at infinite contrast for native alpha 1-antitrypsin is 2.61 nm, characteristic of a moderately elongated structure, and its cross-sectional RG is 1.34 nm. The internal inhomogeneity of scattering densities within alpha 1-antitrypsin is high at 29 x 10(-5). The X-ray RG is 2.91 nm, in good agreement with the neutron RG of 2.82 nm in 1H2O. This RG is unchanged in reactive-centre-cleaved alpha 1-antitrypsin. These parameters are also unchanged at pH 8 in sodium/potassium phosphate buffers up to 0.6 M. The neutron and X-ray curves for native alpha 1-antitrypsin were compared with Debye simulation based on the crystal structure of reactive-centre-cleaved (papain) alpha 1-antitrypsin. After allowance for residues not visible in the crystallographic electron-density map, and rejoining the proteolysed site between Met-358 and Ser-359 by means of a relatively minor conformational re-arrangement, good agreement to a structural resolution of 4 nm is obtained with the neutron data in two contrasts and with the X-ray data. The structures of the native and cleaved forms of alpha 1-antitrypsin are thus similar within the resolution of solution scattering. This places an upper limit on the magnitude of the presumed conformational changes that occur in alpha 1-antitrypsin on reactive-centre cleavage, as indicated in earlier spectroscopic investigations of the Met-358-Ser-359 peptide-bond cleavage. Methods for scattering-curve simulations from crystal structures are critically assessed. The RG data lead to dimensions of 7.8 nm x 4.9 nm x 2.2 nm for native alpha 1-antitrypsin. The high internal inhomogeneity and the asymmetric shorter semi-axes of 4.9 nm and 2.2 nm suggest that the three oligosaccharide chains of alpha 1-antitrypsin are essentially freely extended into solvent in physiological conditions. This conclusion is also supported by the Debye simulations, and by modelling based on hydrodynamic parameters.
Project description:The bovine IgG1 and IgG2 isotypes exhibit large differences in effector functions. To examine the structural basis for this, the 12-domain structures of IgG1 and IgG2 were investigated by pulsed neutron scattering using a recently developed camera LOQ. This method reports on the average relative disposition in solution of the Fab and Fc fragments in IgG. The radii of gyration (RG) were found to be similar at 5.64 and 5.71 nm for IgG1 and IgG2 respectively in 100% 2H2O buffers. The two cross-sectional radii of gyration (RXS) were also similar at 2.38-2.41 and 0.98-1.02 nm. Similar values were obtained for porcine IgG. Both bovine IgG1 and IgG2 possess similar overall solution structures, despite sequence differences at the hinge region at the centre of their structures. An automated computer survey of possible IgG structures was developed, in which coordinates for the two Fab fragments were displaced in a two-dimensional plane relative to those of the Fc fragment in 0.25 nm steps. The scattering curves calculated from these structures were found to be sensitive to relative displacements of the three fragments, but not on their rotational orientation about their longest axes. Good agreement with the solution scattering data was obtained with a planar IgG model in which the C-terminus of the CH1 domain of Fab was 3.6 nm from the N-terminus of Fc in both IgG1 and IgG2, with a precision of 0.7 nm. Energy refinement showed that this spatial separation is compatible with the hinge sequences of bovine IgG1 and IgG2. The results show that multidomain protein structures can be modelled using LOQ data, and that a long hinge sequence does not necessarily reflect a large distance between Fab and Fc. The steric accessibility of Fc sites for interactions with cell-surface Fc receptors and C1q of complement is shown to be generally similar for IgG1 and IgG2, and the difference in effector function between IgG1 and IgG2 is probably based on deletions in the IgG2 hinge sequence.
Project description:A crucial step in the development of therapeutic monoclonal antibodies is the selection of robust pharmaceutical candidates and screening of efficacious protein formulations to increase the resistance toward physicochemical degradation and aggregation during processing and storage. Here, we introduce small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) to characterize antibody solution behavior, which strongly complements conventional biophysical analysis. First, we apply a variety of conventional biophysical techniques for the evaluation of structural, conformational, and colloidal stability and report a systematic comparison between designed humanized IgG1, IgG2, and IgG4 with identical variable regions. Then, the high information content of SAXS data enables sensitive detection of structural differences between three IgG subclasses at neutral pH and rapid formation of dimers of IgG2 and IgG4 at low pH. We reveal subclass-specific variation in intermolecular repulsion already at low and medium protein concentrations, which explains the observed improved stability of IgG1 with respect to aggregation. We show how excipients dramatically influence such repulsive effects, hence demonstrating the potential application of extensive SAXS screening in antibody selection, eventual engineering, and formulation development.
Project description:The aim of Jscatter is the processing of experimental data and physical models with the focus to enable the user to develop/modify their own models and use them within experimental data evaluation. The basic structures dataArray and dataList contain matrix-like data of different size including attributes to store corresponding metadata. The attributes are used in fit routines as parameters allowing multidimensional attribute dependent fitting. Several modules provide models mainly applied in neutron and X- ray scattering for small angle scattering (form factors and structure factors) and inelastic neutron scattering. The intention is to provide an environment with fit routines, data handling routines (based on NumPy arrays) and a model library to allow the user to focus onto user-written models for data analysis with the benefit of convenient documentation of scientific data evaluation in a scripting environment.