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Impact of deglycosylation and thermal stress on conformational stability of a full length murine igG2a monoclonal antibody: Observations from molecular dynamics simulations

Authors

  • Xiaoling Wang,

    1. Pharmaceutical Research and Development, BioTherapeutics Pharmaceutical Sciences, Pfizer Inc, 700 Chesterfield Parkway West, Chesterfield, Missouri 63017
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  • Sandeep Kumar,

    Corresponding author
    1. Pharmaceutical Research and Development, BioTherapeutics Pharmaceutical Sciences, Pfizer Inc, 700 Chesterfield Parkway West, Chesterfield, Missouri 63017
    • BioTherapeutics Pharmaceutical Sciences Pfizer Inc, C2482, 500 Technology Drive #1, Weldon Spring, MO 63044, USA
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  • Patrick M. Buck,

    1. Pharmaceutical Research and Development, BioTherapeutics Pharmaceutical Sciences, Pfizer Inc, 700 Chesterfield Parkway West, Chesterfield, Missouri 63017
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  • Satish K. Singh

    1. Pharmaceutical Research and Development, BioTherapeutics Pharmaceutical Sciences, Pfizer Inc, 700 Chesterfield Parkway West, Chesterfield, Missouri 63017
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Abstract

With the rise of antibody based therapeutics as successful medicines, there is an emerging need to understand the fundamental antibody conformational dynamics and its implications towards stability of these medicines. Both deglycosylation and thermal stress have been shown to cause conformational destabilization and aggregation in monoclonal antibodies. Here, we study instabilities caused by deglycosylation and by elevated temperature (400 K) by performing molecular dynamic simulations on a full length murine IgG2a mAb whose crystal structure is available in the Protein Data bank. Cα-atom root mean square deviation and backbone root mean square fluctuation calculations show that deglycosylation perturbs quaternary and tertiary structures in the CH2 domains. In contrast, thermal stress pervades throughout the antibody structure and both Fabs and Fc regions are destabilized. The thermal stress applied in this study was not sufficient to cause large scale unfolding within the simulation time and most amino acid residues showed similar average solvent accessible surface area and secondary structural conformations in all trajectories. CH3 domains were the most successful at resisting the conformational destabilization. The simulations helped identify aggregation prone regions, which may initiate cross-β motif formation upon deglycosylation and upon applying thermal stress. Deglycosylation leads to increased backbone fluctuations and solvent exposure of a highly conserved APR located in the edge β-strand A of the CH2 domains. Aggregation upon thermal stress is most likely initiated by two APRs that overlap with the complementarity determining regions. This study has important implications for rational design of antibody based therapeutics that are resistant towards aggregation. Proteins 2013. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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