Conformational effects of N-glycan core fucosylation of immunoglobulin G Fc region on its interaction with Fcγ receptor IIIa

Sci Rep. 2017 Oct 23;7(1):13780. doi: 10.1038/s41598-017-13845-8.


Antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity (ADCC) is promoted through interaction between the Fc region of immunoglobulin G1 (IgG1) and Fcγ receptor IIIa (FcγRIIIa), depending on N-glycosylation of these glycoproteins. In particular, core fucosylation of IgG1-Fc N-glycans negatively affects this interaction and thereby compromises ADCC activity. To address the mechanisms of this effect, we performed replica-exchange molecular dynamics simulations based on crystallographic analysis of a soluble form of FcγRIIIa (sFcγRIIIa) in complex with IgG1-Fc. Our simulation highlights increased conformational fluctuation of the N-glycan at Asn162 of sFcγRIIIa upon fucosylation of IgG1-Fc, consistent with crystallographic data giving no interpretable electron density for this N-glycan, except for the innermost part. The fucose residue disrupts optimum intermolecular carbohydrate-carbohydrate interactions, rendering this sFcγRIIIa glycan distal from the Fc glycan. Moreover, our simulation demonstrates that core fucosylation of IgG1-Fc affects conformational dynamics and rearrangements of surrounding amino acid residues, typified by Tyr296 of IgG1-Fc, which was more extensively involved in the interaction with sFcγRIIIa without Fc core fucosylation. Our findings offer a structural foundation for designing and developing therapeutic antibodies with improved ADCC activity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Crystallography, X-Ray
  • Fucose / chemistry*
  • Glycosylation
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin Fc Fragments / chemistry*
  • Immunoglobulin Fc Fragments / metabolism*
  • Immunoglobulin G / chemistry
  • Immunoglobulin G / metabolism*
  • Molecular Dynamics Simulation
  • Polysaccharides / chemistry*
  • Protein Conformation
  • Receptors, IgG / chemistry*
  • Receptors, IgG / metabolism*


  • FCGR3A protein, human
  • Immunoglobulin Fc Fragments
  • Immunoglobulin G
  • Polysaccharides
  • Receptors, IgG
  • Fucose