Erin J. Adams
Profile Url: erin-j--adams
Researcher at University of Chicago
Antibodies are critical components of adaptive immunity, binding with high affinity to pathogenic epitopes. Antibodies undergo rigorous selection to achieve this high affinity, yet some maintain an additional basal level of low affinity, broad reactivity to diverse epitopes, a phenomenon termed "polyreactivity". While polyreactivity has been observed in antibodies isolated from various immunological niches, the biophysical properties that allow for promiscuity in a protein selected for high affinity binding to a single target remain unclear. Using a database of nearly 1,500 polyreactive and non-polyreactive antibody sequences, we created a bioinformatic pipeline to isolate key determinants of polyreactivity. These determinants, which include an increase in inter-loop crosstalk and a propensity for an "inoffensive" binding surface, are sufficient to generate a classifier able to identify polyreactive antibodies with over 75% accuracy. The framework from which this classifier was built is generalizable, and represents a powerful, automated pipeline for future immune repertoire analysis.