The Molecular Genetics of Phosphocholine-Binding Antibodies
Early structural analyses of antibody molecules were confounded by the complex heterogeneity which typifies most humoral immune responses. The search for homogeneous antibody populations led to the use of simple bacterial vaccines as immunogens, many of which elicited quite restricted serum antibodies.In the early 1960s, a number of mineral oil- induced murine plasmacytomas were identified which secrete antibodies specific for phosphocholine(2) (PC), the immunodominant determinant on certain rough strains of Streptococcus pneumoniae (3) The murine antibody response to PC has been shown to be quite restricted in isotype(4) and idiotype.(5) In particular, the majority of induced BALB/ c anti-PC antibodies bear idiotypic determinants related to those present on a prototype PC-binding plasmacytoma protein, T15, and the expression of this idiotype is inherited as a single Mendelian allele closely linked to the immunoglobulin allotype locus. In addition, neonatal administration of anti-T15 antitypic antibodies completely abrogates the anti- R36A pneumococcal response in mice.(7) These data, coupled with the nearly homogeneous affinities of anti-PC sera as measured by hapten inhibition,(8) suggested that the murine response to PC might be essentially monoclonal.
KeywordsHeavy Chain Somatic Mutation Gene Segment Immunoglobulin Heavy Chain Antibody Population
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