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The J Chain of Polymeric Immunoglobulins

  • F. P. Inman
  • J. Mestecky

Abstract

The polypeptide chain structures and properties of immunoglobulins from both human serum and colostrum were compared in 1966 by Rejnek et al. and by Cederblad et al. After cleavage of disulfide bonds and subsequent analysis of isolated heavy (H) and light (L) chain fractions, an electrophoretically fast, anodally moving polypeptide became detectable in the light chain fraction of immunoglobulin derived from colostrum. When these fractions were analyzed by starch-block gel electrophoresis in urea at alkaline pH, the polypeptide appeared as a sharp, intensely stained band that preceded the electrophoresis banding pattern typical of L chains. Further characteristics of this polypeptide were not determined, and for a time its origin remained obscure. In 1967 Cebra and Small detected a similar polypeptide in secretory IgA isolated from rabbit milk. Because of the earlier findings of Tomasi et al. (1965), this polypeptide was termed T chain and was assumed to represent a part of an additional entity of S-IgA, a secretory component (SC). At this stage, human and rabbit S-IgA molecules were thought to consist of two 7 S molecules, each containing two α and two L chains, connected by SC that was composed of two T chains (Cebra, 1969; Small et al., 1971). The reasoning behind this hypothesis was obvious: The research methods used revealed only H, L, and T chains, and the total molecular weights of the individual components corresponded to the molecular weight of the S-IgA molecule. The presence of T chain in serum myeloma IgA (Poulik, 1967) was assumed to result from the possible binding of SC to that type of IgA.

Keywords

Disulfide Bond Amino Acid Composition Federation Proc Secretory Component Partial Specific Volume 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1974

Authors and Affiliations

  • F. P. Inman
    • 1
  • J. Mestecky
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of MicrobiologyUniversity of GeorgiaAthensUSA
  2. 2.Department of Microbiology Institute for Dental ResearchUniversity of Alabama Medical CenterBirminghamUSA

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