Antibody Structure Problem Set
Problem 3. Locations of antibody/antigen contacts
Tutorial to help answer the questionThe hypervariable regions of the antibody:
Amino acid residues of an antibody's hypervariable region (purple) directly interact with an antigen (green). This interaction is illustrated in a ball and stick diagram on the left, and as a ribbon diagram on the right.
The hypervariable regions are on the same side of the antibody's light and heavy chains to maximize contact with antigen.
The hypervariable regions are spread out, and can be discontinuous, permitting interaction over a broad area. Hydrogen bonds and van der Waals forces create a large number of weak bonds joining the antibody and antigen . Together these weak bonds make antibody/antigen binding very specific and strong.
The University of Arizona
Tuesday, June 20, 2000
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