The conformation of the interchain disulfide bond between the light and the heavy chains of human immunoglobulin G4 (IgG4) was modeled based on the known structure of a human IgG1 Fab. Exploration of a large number of conformations followed by energy minimization using molecular mechanics methods rendered a plausible model for the disulfide. In this model the disulfide adopts the long, trans-gauche-trans configuration found in immunoglobulin intrachain bridges and not the conformations most commonly observed in other proteins (left-handed spiral or right-handed hook). Heavy chain residues H217 and H218 pack tightly against the disulfide and put restrictions on which sequences can exist in the proposed conformation. Sequence analysis at these positions shows that: (a) all human IgG4 and IgG3 are compatible with the model; (b) IgG2 and human immunoglobulins of other classes cannot adopt the conformation proposed for IgG4.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology