Mapping of a hapten-binding site: molecular modeling and site-directed mutagenesis study of an anti-atrazine antibody

Wien Kusharyoto, Jürgen Pleiss, Till T Bachmann, Rolf D Schmid

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A three-dimensional model of the variable domain of the atrazine-specific Fab fragment K411B was constructed by molecular modeling using known structures of highly homologous immunoglobulins as templates. Molecular dynamic simulations and cross-reactivity data were used to predict residues responsible for the binding of the hapten 4-chloro-6-(isopropylamino)-1,3,5-triazine-2-(6-aminohexanecarboxylic acid) (iPr/Cl/C6) instead of atrazine. Specific binding pockets could be defined for the chlorine, the isopropylamino group and the C6-spacer of the hapten. The influence of various amino acids on hapten binding was investigated by site-directed mutagenesis, and the effect of these mutations was analyzed by capture ELISA using the hapten iPr/Cl/C6 and 4-amino-6-chloro-1,3,5-triazine-2-(6-aminohexanecarboxylic acid) (H/Cl/C6). GlyH100a seems to be important in determining the conformation of the heavy-chain complementarity determining region H3; replacing it with any other residue prevented the binding of the hapten. Altering residues responsible for the binding of the chlorine atom (TrpH33, GluH50 and TyrL96) decreased the affinity significantly. Hapten-spacer recognition can be attributed to the interaction with PheL32; replacing PheL32 by leucine reduced the affinity towards iPr/Cl/C6. A triple mutant Fab fragment (GlnL89Glu, ValH37Ile and GluL3Val) showed an affinity 5-fold greater towards iPr/Cl/C6 compared to the wild-type K411B, as a result of better recognition of the isopropylamino group of iPr/Cl/C6.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)233-41
Number of pages9
JournalProtein engineering, design & selection : PEDS
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2002


  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Antigen-Antibody Complex
  • Atrazine
  • Binding Sites
  • Cross Reactions
  • Haptens
  • Herbicides
  • Immunoglobulin Fab Fragments
  • Models, Molecular
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Mutagenesis, Site-Directed
  • Sequence Alignment
  • Surface Plasmon Resonance

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