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Comparison of the pH- and thermally-induced fluctuations of a therapeutic antibody Fab fragment by molecular dynamics simulation

Zhang, C; Codina, N; Tang, J; Yu, H; Chakroun, N; Kozielski, F; Dalby, PA; (2021) Comparison of the pH- and thermally-induced fluctuations of a therapeutic antibody Fab fragment by molecular dynamics simulation. Computational and Structural Biotechnology Journal , 19 pp. 2726-2741. 10.1016/j.csbj.2021.05.005. Green open access

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Abstract

Successful development of protein therapeutics depends critically on achieving stability under a range of conditions. A deeper understanding of the drivers of instability across different stress conditions, will enable the engineering of more robust protein scaffolds. We compared the impacts of low pH and high temperature stresses on the structure of a humanized antibody fragment (Fab) A33, using atomistic molecular dynamics simulations, using a recent 2.5 Å crystal structure. This revealed that low-pH induced the loss of native contacts in the domain CL. By contrast, thermal stress led to 5–7% loss of native contacts in all four domains, and simultaneous loss of >30% of native contacts in the VL-VH and CL-CH interfaces. This revealed divergent destabilising pathways under the two different stresses. The underlying cause of instability was probed using FoldX and Rosetta mutation analysis, and packing density calculations. These agreed that mutations in the CL domain, and CL-CH1 interface have the greatest potential for stabilisation of Fab A33. Several key salt bridge losses underpinned the conformational change in CL at low pH, whereas at high temperature, salt bridges became more dynamic, thus contributing to an overall destabilization. Lastly, the unfolding events at the two stress conditions exposed different predicted aggregation-prone regions (APR) to solvent, which would potentially lead to different aggregation mechanisms. Overall, our results identified the early stages of unfolding and stability-limiting regions of Fab A33, and the VH and CL domains as interesting future targets for engineering stability to both pH- and thermal-stresses simultaneously.

Type: Article
Title: Comparison of the pH- and thermally-induced fluctuations of a therapeutic antibody Fab fragment by molecular dynamics simulation
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1016/j.csbj.2021.05.005
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.csbj.2021.05.005
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright 2021 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. on behalf of Research Network of Computational and Structural Biotechnology. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (http://creativecommons. org/licenses/by/4.0/).
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > UCL School of Pharmacy
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > UCL School of Pharmacy > Pharma and Bio Chemistry
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science > Dept of Biochemical Engineering
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science > Dept of Chemical Engineering
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10127938
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