Chen, Xi; Hnida, Kathrin; Graewert, Melissa Ann; Andersen, Jan Terje; Iversen, Rasmus; Tuukkanen, Anne; Svergun, Dmitri; Sollid, Ludvig M.
Structural Basis for Antigen Recognition by Transglutaminase 2-specific Autoantibodies in Celiac Disease

Background: Knowledge of how celiac disease autoantibodies recognize transglutaminase 2 (TG2) is limited. Results: The interaction between TG2 and a celiac disease epitope 1 anti-TG2 antibody was studied by small angle x-ray scattering and mutational analysis. Conclusion: TG2 residues Arg-116 and His-134 are part of epitope 1. Significance: The study gives insights into key aspects of celiac disease. Antibodies to the autoantigen transglutaminase 2 (TG2) are a hallmark of celiac disease. We have studied the interaction between TG2 and an anti-TG2 antibody (679-14-E06) derived from a single gut IgA plasma cell of a celiac disease patient. The antibody recognizes one of four identified epitopes targeted by antibodies of plasma cells of the disease lesion. The binding interface was identified by small angle x-ray scattering, ab initio and rigid body modeling using the known crystal structure of TG2 and the crystal structure of the antibody Fab fragment, which was solved at 2.4 angstrom resolution. The result was confirmed by testing binding of the antibody to TG2 mutants by ELISA and surface plasmon resonance. TG2 residues Arg-116 and His-134 were identified to be critical for binding of 679-14-E06 as well as other epitope 1 antibodies. In contrast, antibodies directed toward the two other main epitopes (epitopes 2 and 3) were not affected by these mutations. Molecular dynamics simulations suggest interactions of 679-14-E06 with the N-terminal domain of TG2 via the CDR2 and CDR3 loops of the heavy chain and the CDR2 loop of the light chain. In addition there were contacts of the framework 3 region of the heavy chain with the catalytic domain of TG2. The results provide an explanation for the biased usage of certain heavy and light chain gene segments by epitope 1-specific antibodies in celiac disease.


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