The Role of the Constant Region in Antibody-Antigen Interactions: Redefining the Modular Model of Immunoglobulin Structure

Anthony Bowen, Arturo Casadevall

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Abstract

Immunological canon traditionally divides immunoglobulin molecules into a functionally distinct antigen-binding variable region and a constant region that interacts with downstream components of the immune system. Recent research, along with a reexamination of earlier studies, shows that this modular model of antibody structure is incomplete. Biochemical, structural, and computational studies over the past five decades with many different antibodies illustrate an allosteric antibody model, where conformational changes in the variable region are propagated to the constant region and vice versa. The immunoglobulin constant region is now thought to play a major role in antibody-antigen interactions and can be viewed as another mechanism by which the immune system generates antibody diversity. While a precise structural mechanism is unclear and likely varies by the particular antibody or antibody family, the allosteric antibody model has many implications for the immune response, autoimmunity, vaccine development, and antibody engineering.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationStructural Biology in Immunology
Subtitle of host publicationStructure and Function of Novel Molecules of Immunologic Importance
PublisherElsevier
Pages145-170
Number of pages26
ISBN (Electronic)9780128033692
ISBN (Print)9780128033708
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2018

Keywords

  • Allosteric antibody model
  • Antibody constant region
  • Antibody-antigen interactions
  • Immunoglobulin fine specificity
  • Intramolecular signaling
  • Isotype-switching
  • Modular antibody model

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)

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    Bowen, A., & Casadevall, A. (2018). The Role of the Constant Region in Antibody-Antigen Interactions: Redefining the Modular Model of Immunoglobulin Structure. In Structural Biology in Immunology: Structure and Function of Novel Molecules of Immunologic Importance (pp. 145-170). Elsevier. https://doi.org/10.1016/B978-0-12-803369-2.00006-1