Structures of Abeta-related peptide—monoclonal antibody complexes

Anna Gardberg, Lezlee Dice, Kathleen Pridgen, Jan Ko, Paul Patterson, Susan Ou, Ronald Wetzel, Chris Dealwis
Biochemistry 2009 June 16, 48 (23): 5210-7
Passive immunotherapy (PI) is being explored as a potential therapeutic against Alzheimer's disease. The most promising antibodies (Abs) used in PI target the EFRH motif of the Abeta N-terminus. The monoclonal anti-Abeta Ab PFA1 recognizes the EFRH epitope of Abeta. PFA1 has a high affinity for Abeta fibrils and protofibrils (0.1 nM), as well as good affinity for Abeta monomers (20 nM). However, PFA1 binds the toxic N-terminally modified pyroglutamate peptide pyro-Glu3-Abeta with a 77-fold loss in affinity compared to the WT Abeta(1-8). Furthermore, our earlier work illustrated PFA1's potential for cross-reactivity. The receptor tyrosine kinase Ror2, which plays a role in skeletal and bone formation, possesses the EFRH sequence. PFA1 Fab binds the Ror2(518-525) peptide sequence REEFRHEA with a 3-fold enhancement over WT Abeta(1-8). In this work, the crystal structures of the hybridoma-derived PFA1 Fab in complex with pyro-Glu3-Abeta peptide and with a cross-reacting peptide from Ror2 have been determined at resolutions of 1.95 and 2.7 A, respectively. As with wild-type Abeta, these peptides bind to the Fab via a combination of charge- and shape-complementarity, hydrogen-bonding, and hydrophobic interactions. Comparison of the structures of the four peptides Abeta(1-8), Grip1, pyro-Glu3-Abeta(3-8), and Ror2 in complex with PFA1 shows that the greatest conformational flexibility occurs at residues 2 to 3 and 8 of the peptide. These structures provide a molecular basis of the specificity tolerance of PFA1 and its ability to recognize Abeta N-terminal heterogeneity. The structures provide clues to improving mAb specificity and affinity for pyroglutamate Abeta.

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