- Epitope characterization and crystal structure of GA101 provide insights into the molecular basis for type I/II distinction of CD20 antibodies
- Volume | Issue number
- 118 | 2
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Science (FNWI)
- Van 't Hoff Institute for Molecular Sciences (HIMS)
CD20 is a cell-surface marker of normal and malignant B cells. Rituximab, a monoclonal antibody targeting CD20, has improved the treatment of malignant lymphomas. Therapeutic CD20 antibodies are classified as either type I or II based on different mechanisms of killing malignant B cells. To reveal the molecular basis of this distinction, we fine-mapped the epitopes recognized by both types. We also determined the first X-ray structure of a type II antibody by crystallizing the obinutuzumab (GA101) Fab fragment alone and in complex with a CD20 cyclopeptide. Despite recognizing an overlapping epitope, GA101 binds CD20 in a completely different orientation than type I antibodies. Moreover, the elbow angle of GA101 is almost 30° wider than in type I antibodies, potentially resulting in different spatial arrangements of 2 CD20 molecules bound to a single GA101 or rituximab molecule. Using protein tomography, different CD20 complexes were found to be associated with the 2 antibodies, and confocal microscopy showed different membrane compartmentalization of these subpopulations of the cellular CD20 pool. Our findings offer a possible molecular explanation for the different cellular responses elicited by type I and II antibodies.
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