Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

The third complementary-determining regions of the heavy-chain (CDR3H) variable regions (VH) of some cattle antibodies are highly extended, consisting of 48 or more residues. These `ultralong' CDR3Hs form β-ribbon stalks that protrude from the surface of the antibody with a disulfide cross-linked knob region at their apex that dominates antigen interactions over the other CDR loops. The structure of the Fab fragment of a naturally paired bovine ultralong antibody (D08), identified by single B-cell sequencing, has been determined to 1.6 Å resolution. By swapping the D08 native light chain with that of an unrelated antigen-unknown ultralong antibody, it is shown that interactions between the CDR3s of the variable domains potentially affect the fine positioning of the ultralong CDR3H; however, comparison with other crystallographic structures shows that crystalline packing is also a major contributor. It is concluded that, on balance, the exact positioning of ultralong CDR3H loops is most likely to be due to the constraints of crystal packing.

Original publication




Journal article


Acta Crystallogr F Struct Biol Commun

Publication Date





154 - 163


CDR3H, CDR3L, X-ray crystallography, antibodies, chain exchange, immunoglobulin, structural immunology, ultralong, Animals, Cattle, Immunoglobulin Heavy Chains, Crystallography, X-Ray, Immunoglobulin Light Chains, Complementarity Determining Regions, Immunoglobulin Fab Fragments, Models, Molecular, Amino Acid Sequence, Protein Conformation