Mouse-human chimeric antibodies composed of murine variable (V) and human (C) chains are useful therapeutic reagents. Consequently, we investigated whether heterologous C-regions from mice and humans affected specificity and affinity, and determined the contribution of CH glycosylation to antigen binding. The interaction of a 12-mer peptide mimetic with monoclonal antibody (mAb) 18B7 to Cryptococcus neoformans glucuronoxylomannan, and its chimeric (ch) and deglycosylated forms were studied by surface plasmon resonance. The equilibrium and rate association constants for the chAb were higher than for mAb 18B7. V region affinity was not affected by CH region glycosylation whereas heterologous C region of the same isotype altered the Ab binding affinity and the specificity for self-antigens. Structural models displayed local differences that implied changes on the connectivity of residues. These findings suggest that V region conformational changes can be dictated by the CH domains through an allosteric effect involving networks of highly connected amino acids.
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