Accurate Structure Prediction of CDR H3 Loops Enabled by a Novel Structure-Based C-Terminal Constraint

J Immunol. 2017 Jan 1;198(1):505-515. doi: 10.4049/jimmunol.1601137. Epub 2016 Nov 21.


Ab structure prediction has made great strides, but accurately modeling CDR H3 loops remains elusive. Unlike the other five CDR loops, CDR H3 does not adopt canonical conformations and must be modeled de novo. During Antibody Modeling Assessment II, we found that biasing simulations toward kinked conformations enables generating low-root mean square deviation models (Weitzner et al. 2014. Proteins 82: 1611-1623), and since then, we have presented new geometric parameters defining the kink conformation (Weitzner et al. 2015. Structure 23: 302-311). In this study, we use these parameters to develop a new biasing constraint. When applied to a benchmark set of high-quality CDR H3 loops, the average minimum root mean square deviation sampled is 0.93 Å, compared with 1.34 Å without the constraint. We then test the performance of the constrained de novo method for homology modeling and rigid-body docking and present the results for 1) the Antibody Modeling Assessment II targets, 2) the 2009 RosettaAntibody benchmark set, and 3) the high-quality set.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Complementarity Determining Regions / chemistry*
  • Humans
  • Mice
  • Models, Immunological*
  • Models, Molecular*
  • Protein Conformation


  • Complementarity Determining Regions