As detailed in previous chapters, the description of antibody diversity moved rapidly in the wake of sophisticated experiments designed to probe the extent of the repertoire. Data obtained by serologists, biochemists, and geneticists all revealed the complexity of immunoglobulin populations and indicated that the capability to produce a large number of antibody molecules was present in a single organism. Whether one arrived at this large number by counting antibody-binding sites, idiotypes, or amino acid sequences of heavy and light chain V regions, the data strongly supported the two-gene hypothesis and underscored the bifunctional nature of the antibody molecule. However, this body of serologic and structural data failed to answer an overriding question, one that dominated the area of immunoglobulin genetics during this time: What was the precise number and nature of V-region genes?
KeywordsLight Chain Somatic Mutation Versus Region Hypervariable Region Polar Theory
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References and Bibliography
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