Thermal sensitivity and flexibility of the Cε3 domains in immunoglobulin E

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)
169 Downloads (Pure)


Immunoglobulin E (IgE) is the antibody that plays a central role in the mechanisms of allergic diseases such as asthma. Interactions with its receptors, FcεRI on mast cells and CD23 on B cells, are mediated by the Fc region, a dimer of the Cε2, Cε3 and Cε4 domains. A sub-fragment lacking the Cε2 domains, Fcε3–4, also binds to both receptors, although receptor binding almost exclusively involves the Cε3 domains. This domain also contains the N-linked glycosylation site conserved in other isotypes. We report here the crystal structures of IgE-Fc and Fcε3–4 at the highest resolutions yet determined, 1.75 Å and 2.0 Å respectively, revealing unprecedented detail regarding the carbohydrate and its interactions with protein domains. Analysis of the crystallographic B factors of these, together with all earlier IgE-Fc and Fcε3–4 structures, shows that the Cε3 domains exhibit the greatest intrinsic flexibility and quaternary structural variation within IgE-Fc. Intriguingly, both well-ordered carbohydrate and disordered polypeptide can be seen within the same Cε3 domains. A simplified method for comparing the quaternary structures of the Cε3 domains in free and receptor-bound IgE-Fc structures is presented, which clearly delineates the FcεRI and CD23 bound states. Importantly, differential scanning fluorimetric analysis of IgE-Fc and Fcε3–4 identifies Cε3 as the domain most susceptible to thermally-induced unfolding, and responsible for the characteristically low melting temperature of IgE.
Original languageEnglish
Early online date24 Aug 2017
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 24 Aug 2017


  • Antibody
  • Immunoglobulin E
  • Glycosylation
  • Domain flexibility
  • Thermal unfolding
  • Differential scanning fluorimetry


Dive into the research topics of 'Thermal sensitivity and flexibility of the Cε3 domains in immunoglobulin E'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this