Side chain requirements for affinity and specificity in D5, an HIV-1 antibody derived from the VH1-69 germline segment

Alex Stewart, Joseph S. Harrison, Lauren K. Regula, Jonathan R. Lai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Background: Analysis of factors contributing to high affinity antibody-protein interactions provides insight into natural antibody evolution, and guides the design of antibodies with new or enhanced function. We previously studied the interaction between antibody D5 and its target, a designed protein based on HIV-1 gp41 known as 5-Helix, as a model system [Da Silva, G. F.; Harrison, J. S.; Lai, J. R., Biochemistry, 2010, 49, 5464-5472]. Antibody D5 represents an interesting case study because it is derived from the V H1-69 germline segment; this germline segment is characterized by a hydrophobic second heavy chain complementarity determining region (HCDR2) that constitutes the major functional paratope in D5 and several antibodies derived from the same progenitor. Results: Here we explore side chain requirements for affinity and specificity in D5 using phage display. Two D5-based libraries were prepared that contained diversity in all three light chain complementarity determining regions (LCDRs 1-3), and in the third HCDR (HCDR3). The first library allowed residues to vary among a restricted set of six amino acids (Tyr/Ala/Asp/Ser/His/Pro; D5-Lib-I). The second library was designed based on a survey of existing VH1-69 antibody structures (D5-Lib-II). Both libraries were subjected to multiple rounds of selection against 5-Helix, and individual clones characterized. We found that selectants from D5-Lib-I generally had moderate affinity and specificity, while many clones from D5-Lib-II exhibited D5-like properties. Additional analysis of the D5-Lib-II functional population revealed position-specific biases for particular amino acids, many that differed from the identity of those side chains in D5. Conclusions: Together these results suggest that there is some permissiveness for alternative side chains in the LCDRs and HCDR3 of D5, but that replacement with a minimal set of residues is not tolerated in this scaffold for 5-Helix recognition. This work provides novel information about this high-affinity interaction involving an antibody from the VH1-69 germline segment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number9
JournalBMC Biochemistry
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology


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