Molecular basis of antigen mimicry by an anti-idiotope.

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TitleMolecular basis of antigen mimicry by an anti-idiotope.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication1995
AuthorsFields, BA, Goldbaum, FA, Ysern, X, Poljak, RJ, Mariuzza, RA
Date Published1995 Apr 20
KeywordsAmino Acid Sequence, Animals, Antibodies, Anti-Idiotypic, Antibodies, Monoclonal, Antigen-Antibody Complex, Epitopes, Immunoglobulin Fragments, Immunoglobulin Idiotypes, Immunoglobulin Variable Region, Male, Mice, Mice, Inbred BALB C, Mice, Inbred C57BL, Models, Molecular, Molecular Mimicry, Molecular Sequence Data, Muramidase

Idiotopes are antigenic determinants, unique to an antibody or group of antibodies, defined by the reaction of anti-idiotopic antibodies with the antibodies bearing the idiotopes. The ensemble of idiotopes of an antibody constitutes its idiotype. Idiotypes are useful as markers to follow specific antibodies and clones of cells in immune responses and the inheritance of immunoglobulin genes. As external antigens and anti-idiotypic antibodies can competitively bind the combining site of specific antibodies, some anti-idiotypic antibodies may resemble the external antigen, thus mimicking its structure. It has been proposed that an anti-idiotypic antibody, anti-anti-X, may resemble the external antigen X and thus carry its 'internal image', but this idea is not unequivocally supported by the three-dimensional structures of anti-idiotopic antibodies, either because the structures of the external antigen or of the anti-idiotopic antibody were unknown, or because the anti-idiotopic antibodies showed no resemblance to the external antigens (reviewed in ref. 10). Functional mimicry of ligands of biological receptors by anti-idiotypic antibodies has been described in several systems (reviewed in ref. 11). But how closely can antibodies mimic antigens at the molecular level? Here we present the crystal structure of an idiotope-anti-idiotope complex between the Fv fragments of the anti-lysozyme antibody D1.3 and the anti-D1.3 antibody E5.2. D1.3 contacts the antigen, lysozyme and the anti-idiotopic E5.2 through essentially the same combining-site residues. In addition, E5.2 interacts with D1.3, making contacts similar to those between lysozyme and D1.3. Thus, the anti-idiotopic antibody E5.2 mimics lysozyme in its binding interactions with D1.3. Validating these observations, E5.2, used as an immunogen, induces an anti-lysozyme response.

Alternate JournalNature
PubMed ID7536303