AVIDa-hIL6: A Large-Scale VHH Dataset Produced from an Immunized Alpaca for Predicting Antigen-Antibody Interactions

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 36 (NeurIPS 2023) Datasets and Benchmarks Track

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Hirofumi Tsuruta, Hiroyuki Yamazaki, Ryota Maeda, Ryotaro Tamura, Jennifer Wei, Zelda E. Mariet, Poomarin Phloyphisut, Hidetoshi Shimokawa, Joseph R. Ledsam, Lucy Colwell, Akihiro Imura


Antibodies have become an important class of therapeutic agents to treat human diseases.To accelerate therapeutic antibody discovery, computational methods, especially machine learning, have attracted considerable interest for predicting specific interactions between antibody candidates and target antigens such as viruses and bacteria.However, the publicly available datasets in existing works have notable limitations, such as small sizes and the lack of non-binding samples and exact amino acid sequences.To overcome these limitations, we have developed AVIDa-hIL6, a large-scale dataset for predicting antigen-antibody interactions in the variable domain of heavy chain of heavy chain antibodies (VHHs), produced from an alpaca immunized with the human interleukin-6 (IL-6) protein, as antigens.By leveraging the simple structure of VHHs, which facilitates identification of full-length amino acid sequences by DNA sequencing technology, AVIDa-hIL6 contains 573,891 antigen-VHH pairs with amino acid sequences.All the antigen-VHH pairs have reliable labels for binding or non-binding, as generated by a novel labeling method.Furthermore, via introduction of artificial mutations, AVIDa-hIL6 contains 30 different mutants in addition to wild-type IL-6 protein.This characteristic provides opportunities to develop machine learning models for predicting changes in antibody binding by antigen mutations.We report experimental benchmark results on AVIDa-hIL6 by using machine learning models.The results indicate that the existing models have potential, but further research is needed to generalize them to predict effective antibodies against unknown mutants.The dataset is available at https://avida-hil6.cognanous.com.