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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Chimeric human-simian anti-CD4 antibodies form crystalline high symmetry particles.

  • Author(s): Kuznetsov, YG
  • Day, J
  • Newman, R
  • McPherson, A
  • et al.

A chimeric human-simian IgG, antigen specific for CD4, when exposed to 0.5 M SO(=)(4) containing 0.4% polyethylene glycol or Jeffamine, self-assembles into discreet, roughly spherical particles 23 nm in diameter. Increasing SO(=)(4) to 1.55 M induces the IgG particles to crystallize in either a hexagonal or a monoclinic form. From X-ray diffraction, the former crystal is of space group P622, with one IgG particle in the unit cell; thus the particle itself must have 622 point group symmetry. Both crystal forms have been imaged using atomic force microscopy. Detailed features of the duodecamer were evident, including the symmetry and a large solvent channel along the sixfold axis. The particles in some ways resemble the hexameric IgG aggregates believed to activate compliment upon antigen binding and, therefore, may have physiological relevance. Investigation of seven other IgGs of diverse origins and subclasses indicates that many, if not most, IgGs form similar particles. To our knowledge, this is the first observation of the assembly of IgG into high symmetry aggregates in the absence of antigen or their crystallization.

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