The fragment crystallizable (Fc) region links the dual pathogen identification and destruction properties of immunoglobulin G (IgG). Pathogen opsonization positions Fcs to activate pro-inflammatory Fc receptors (FcgRs) on immune cells. Asparagine-linked (N)-glycan attached to Fc is required for productive engagement of the low-affinity FcgRs, though it is not known how the Fc N-glycan contributes to Fc?R binding because the N-glycan does not directly contact the FcgRs. It has been suggested that the N-glycan provides optimal spacing of two Fc domains, stabilizing the Fc quaternary structure to bind the FC?R. Evidence from our laboratory points to a different hypothesis. We determined that Fc N-glycan motion, increased by Fc amino acid mutations far from the Fc?R binding site, negatively correlated with FcRIIIa affinity. Only a single region of Fc, the CE polypeptide loop that contains the site of N-glycosylation, was perturbed as a result of these Fc mutations. This result led to the proposal that the N-glycan affects Fc?R affinity by pre-organizing the CE loop, and not by optimizing Fc domain orientation. Here we will directly test our hypothesis by measuring the structure and motion of the CE loop, in multiple forms stabilized through glycan or protein engineering, using solution nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy. The knowledge of CE loop structure and motion will be applied to redesign the Fc polypeptide to generate aglycosylated Fc variants that maintain high affinity for FcgRs. The molecular details of immune system activation that will emerge from these studies will be important to understand the process of multiple diseases and will be critical to enhance therapeutic monoclonal antibody function through engineering to treat cancer, transplant and autoimmune disease patients.

Public Health Relevance

The goal of this project is to investigate immune system activation, notably the atomic details of how immunoglobulin G binds to receptors of the surface of immune cells to elicit a protective response. A single component of this system, a carbohydrate chain covalently attached to the immunoglobulin G is required for this interaction, and it is not know how. We will collect evidence to determine the role of the carbohydrate chain in immune system activation. This work will be important to public health by enhancing our understanding of how certain cancer therapies function (therapeutic monoclonal antibodies) and lead to potential treatments autoimmune disease.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS)
Research Project (R01)
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Cellular and Molecular Immunology - A Study Section (CMIA)
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Marino, Pamela
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Iowa State University
Schools of Arts and Sciences
United States
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Patel, Kashyap R; Roberts, Jacob T; Subedi, Ganesh P et al. (2018) Restricted processing of CD16a/Fc ? receptor IIIa N-glycans from primary human NK cells impacts structure and function. J Biol Chem 293:3477-3489
Falconer, Daniel J; Barb, Adam W (2018) Mouse IgG2c Fc loop residues promote greater receptor-binding affinity than mouse IgG2b or human IgG1. PLoS One 13:e0192123
Roberts, Jacob T; Barb, Adam W (2018) A single amino acid distorts the Fc ? receptor IIIb/CD16b structure upon binding immunoglobulin G1 and reduces affinity relative to CD16a. J Biol Chem 293:19899-19908
Subedi, Ganesh P; Barb, Adam W (2018) CD16a with oligomannose-type N-glycans is the only ""low-affinity"" Fc ? receptor that binds the IgG crystallizable fragment with high affinity in vitro. J Biol Chem 293:16842-16850
Subedi, Ganesh P; Falconer, Daniel J; Barb, Adam W (2017) Carbohydrate-Polypeptide Contacts in the Antibody Receptor CD16A Identified through Solution NMR Spectroscopy. Biochemistry 56:3174-3177
Larson, Mark E; Falconer, Daniel J; Myers, Alan M et al. (2016) Direct Characterization of the Maize Starch Synthase IIa Product Shows Maltodextrin Elongation Occurs at the Non-reducing End. J Biol Chem 291:24951-24960
Barb, Adam W; Subedi, Ganesh P (2016) An encodable lanthanide binding tag with reduced size and flexibility for measuring residual dipolar couplings and pseudocontact shifts in large proteins. J Biomol NMR 64:75-85
Marcella, Aaron M; Barb, Adam W (2016) A rapid fluorometric assay for the S-malonyltransacylase FabD and other sulfhydryl utilizing enzymes. J Biol Methods 3: