Olsson N, Wallin S, James P, Borrebaeck CA, Wingren C
Protein Sci. 21 (12) 1897-1910 [2012-12-00; online 2012-10-05]
Protein-peptide interactions are a common occurrence and essential for numerous cellular processes, and frequently explored in broad applications within biology, medicine, and proteomics. Therefore, understanding the molecular mechanism(s) of protein-peptide recognition, specificity, and binding interactions will be essential. In this study, we report the first detailed analysis of antibody-peptide interaction characteristics, by combining large-scale experimental peptide binding data with the structural analysis of eight human recombinant antibodies and numerous peptides, targeting tryptic mammalian and eukaryote proteomes. The results consistently revealed that promiscuous peptide-binding interactions, that is, both specific and degenerate binding, were exhibited by all antibodies, and the discovery was corroborated by orthogonal data, indicating that this might be a general phenomenon for low-affinity antibody-peptide interactions. The molecular mechanism for the degenerate peptide-binding specificity appeared to be executed through the use of 2-3 semi-conserved anchor residues in the C-terminal part of the peptides, in analogue to the mechanism utilized by the major histocompatibility complex-peptide complexes. In the long-term, this knowledge will be instrumental for advancing our fundamental understanding of protein-peptide interactions, as well as for designing, generating, and applying peptide specific antibodies, or peptide-binding proteins in general, in various biotechnical and medical applications.