Molecule of the Month: Chimeric Antigen Receptors
T cells may be engineered with chimeric antigen receptors to attack cancer cells.
Engineered T cells
Building a CAR
CART in Action
Exploring the Structure
Single Chain Antibody
Single-chain antibodies are created by engineering a linker between the heavy and light chains of a monoclonal antibody. Typically only the variable domains at the tip of the antibody (labeled VL and VH) are used, and the linker is a flexible chain of glycine and serine amino acids (shown in magenta). The one shown here is bound to a cytokine, interleukin-1 beta, shown in blue. To explore this structure in more detail, click on the image for an interactive JSmol.
Topics for Further Discussion
- There are many structures of single-chain antibody Fv in the PDB archive. As you explore them, you’ll find that most of them don’t include atomic coordinates for the engineered linker between the two chains. Why is this?
- To explore more about the cytotoxic machinery of T cells, try looking for structures of perforin and granzymes in the PDB archive.
Related PDB-101 Resources
- Browse Cancer
- Browse Biotechnology
- Browse Immune System
- FDA Briefing Document BLA 125646, Tisagenlecleucel, Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation.
- ZL Chang & YY Chen (2017) CARs: Synthetic immunoreceptors for cancer therapy and beyond. Trends in Molecular Medicine 23, 430-450.
- MH Kershaw, JA Westwood & PK Darcy (2013) Gene-engineered T cells for cancer therapy. Nature Reviews Cancer 13, 525-541.
- 2kh2: IC Wilkinson, CJ Hall, V Veverka, JY Shi, FW Muskett, PE Stephens, RJ Taylor, AJ Henry & MD Carr (2009) High resolution NMR-based model for the structure of a svFv-IL-1beta complex. Journal of Biological Chemistry 284, 31928-31935.
- 2ozo: S Deindl, TA Kadlecek, T Brdicka, X Cao, A Weiss & J Kuriyan (2007) Structural basis for the inhibition of tyrosine kinase activity of ZAP-70. Cell 129, 735-746.
- 2hac: ME Call, JR Schnell, C Xu, RA Lutz, JJ Chou & KW Wucherpfennig (2006) The structure of the zetazeta transmembrane dimer reveals features for its assembly with the T cell receptor. Cell 127, 355-368.
- 2oq1: MH Hatada, X Lu, ER Laird, J Green, JP Morgenstern, M Lou, C Marr, TB Phillips, MK Ram & K Theriault (1995) Molecular basis for the interaction of ZAP-70 with the T-cell receptor. Nature 377, 32-38.
October 2017, David Goodselldoi:10.2210/rcsb_pdb/mom_2017_10