Hinge region

A H Henry bspahh at midge.bath.ac.uk
Thu Jan 20 17:06:00 EST 1994

In the referenced article, crah1 at leicester.ac.uk writes:
>mbwjm at s-crim1.dl.ac.uk (W.J. Mawby) writes:
>>we are looking at the hinge region of an IgG1 and would like to model
>>the structure, unfortunately a search of Brookhaven only gave us
>>strucures lacking this region (both Fc and Fab). Is anybody working on
>>this or has any information which would be useful to us.

>We had a seminar last week by Prof R jeffries who showed slides depicting 
>the hinge region maybe he could help you.

The problem is that the hinge region seems to be quite flexible.  This
means that there may be no single structure that adequately describes
the conformation.    This is a real problem for describing NMR structures.  
These sometimes include lots of different conformations in the 
Brookhaven entry.  You can make a slide which shows a model of one conformation
of the antibody, but its only going to be a snapshot of a dynamic structure.

It also means that the hinge would be difficult to visualise by X-ray
crystallography.    I'm not exactly sure, but I don't think that anyone has
ever managed to crystallise a whole antibody.  If they have, it was a low
resolution structure.  They might also have had to they cut out
the hinge region first to try and reduce the flexibility of the antibody.

Other people have looked at the movement of the domains in an antibody.
Some have used electron diffraction.  Unfortunately, these don't have the
resolution to make out the atomic detail.  

I'm sorry if this is a bit vague.  I'm more interested in modelling
antibody variable regions so I don't tend to pay too much attention to
the rest of an antibody  :)

Andrew  Henry

School of Biology and Biochemistry
University of Bath
Great Britain.

Tel   (0225) 826826 ext 5411
email  A.H.Henry at bath.ac.uk

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