Ye JD, Tereshko V, Frederiksen JK, Koide A, Fellouse FA, Sidhu SS, Koide S, Kossiakoff AA, Piccirilli JA
Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 2008 Jan;105(1):82-7
Antibodies that bind protein antigens are indispensable in biochemical research and modern medicine. However, knowledge of RNA-binding antibodies and their application in the ever-growing RNA field is lacking. Here we have developed a robust approach using a synthetic phage-display library to select specific antigen-binding fragments (Fabs) targeting a large functional RNA. We have solved the crystal structure of the first Fab-RNA complex at 1.95 A. Capability in phasing and crystal contact formation suggests that the Fab provides a potentially valuable crystal chaperone for RNA. The crystal structure reveals that the Fab achieves specific RNA binding on a shallow surface with complementarity-determining region (CDR) sequence diversity, length variability, and main-chain conformational plasticity. The Fab-RNA interface also differs significantly from Fab-protein interfaces in amino acid composition and light-chain participation. These findings yield valuable insights for engineering of Fabs as RNA-binding modules and facilitate further development of Fabs as possible therapeutic drugs and biochemical tools to explore RNA biology.