Next-generation sequencing of immunoglobulin gene repertoires (Ig-seq) allows the investigation of large-scale antibody dynamics at a sequence level. However, structural information, a crucial descriptor of antibody binding capability, is not collected in Ig-seq protocols. Developing systematic relationships between the antibody sequence information gathered from Ig-seq and low-throughput techniques such as X-ray crystallography could radically improve our understanding of antibodies. The mapping of Ig-seq datasets to known antibody structures can indicate structurally, and perhaps functionally, uncharted areas. Furthermore, contrasting naïve and antigenically challenged datasets using structural antibody descriptors should provide insights into antibody maturation. As the number of antibody structures steadily increases and more and more Ig-seq datasets become available, the opportunities that arise from combining the two types of information increase as well. Here, we review how these data types enrich one another and show potential for advancing our knowledge of the immune system and improving antibody engineering.
Keywords: Antibodies; B cell; Developability; Ig-seq; Next-generation sequencing; antibody modeling; computational modeling.