Intramolecular H-bonds govern the recognition of a flexible peptide by an antibody

Kazuhiro Miyanabe, Hiroki Akiba, Daisuke Kuroda, Makoto Nakakido, Osamu Kusano-Arai, Hiroko Iwanari, Takao Hamakubo, Jose M.M. Caaveiro, Kouhei Tsumoto

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9 Citations (Scopus)


Molecular recognition is a fundamental event at the core of essentially every biological process. In particular, intermolecular H-bonds have been recognized as key stabilizing forces in antibodyantigen interactions resulting in exquisite specificity and high affinity. Although equally abundant, the role of intramolecular H-bonds is far less clear and not universally acknowledged. Herein, we have carried out a molecular-level study to dissect the contribution of intramolecular H-bonds in a flexible peptide for the recognition by an antibody. We show that intramolecular H-bonds may have a profound, multifaceted and favorable effect on the binding affinity by up to 2 kcal mol1 of free energy. Collectively, our results suggest that antibodies are fine tuned to recognize transiently stabilized structures of flexible peptides in solution, for which intramolecular H-bonds play a key role.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)65-76
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of biochemistry
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jul 1 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology


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