Murine antibody 1D4 selectively catalyzes a highly disfavored beta-elimination reaction. Crystal structures of unliganded 1D4 and 1D4 in complex with a transition-state analog (TSA) have elucidated a possible general base mode of catalysis. The structures of the unliganded and liganded Fabs were determined to 1.80 and 1.85 A resolution, respectively. The structure of the complex reveals a binding pocket with high shape complementarity to the TSA, which is recruited to coerce the substrate into the sterically demanding, eclipsed conformation that is required for catalysis. A histidine residue and two water molecules are likely involved in the catalysis. The structure supports either a concerted E2 or stepwise E1cB-like mechanism for elimination. Finally, the liganded 1D4 structure shows minor conformational rearrangements in CDR H2, indicative of induced-fit binding of the hapten. 1D4 has pushed the boundaries of antibody-mediated catalysis into the realm of disfavored reactions and, hence, represents an important milestone in the development of this technology.
Copyright 2001 Academic Press.