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Immunity. 1995 Jun;2(6):629-37.

Coordination of immunoglobulin chain folding and immunoglobulin chain assembly is essential for the formation of functional IgG.

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  • 1Institut für Biochemie I, Universität Heidelberg, Federal Republic of Germany.


The first constant domain (CH1) of immunoglobulin heavy (H) chains is essential for BiP-mediated retention of unassembled H chains in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER). Here, we demonstrated that both wild-type and a mutant gamma chain lacking the CH1 domain bind BiP when they are reduced in vivo. However, only oxidized mutant H chain dimers are released from BiP interaction, whereas oxidized wild-type gamma chain dimers still bind BiP. In light (L) chain-producing cells, some of the mutant H chains accumulate with L chains in ER-derived vesicles and some are secreted as IgG. Furthermore, only half of the secreted antibodies bind antigen. We found the same with a mutant gamma chain, in which the CH1 domain was replaced by a CH3 domain. Therefore, we propose that BiP interaction with incompletely folded CH1 domains is required to mediate correct assembly of H and L chains.

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