Figure 24-19. Antibody-antigen interactions.

Figure 24-19Antibody-antigen interactions

Because antibodies have two identical antigen-binding sites, they can cross-link antigens. The types of antibody-antigen complexes that form depend on the number of antigenic determinants on the antigen. Here a single species of antibody (a monoclonal antibody) is shown binding to antigens containing one, two, or three copies of a single type of antigenic determinant. Antigens with two antigenic determinants can form small cyclic complexes or linear chains with antibody, while antigens with three or more antigenic determinants can form large three-dimensional lattices that readily precipitate out of solution. Most antigens have many different antigenic determinants (see Figure 24-29A), and different antibodies that recognize different determinants can cooperate in cross-linking the antigen (not shown).

From: B Cells and Antibodies

Cover of Molecular Biology of the Cell
Molecular Biology of the Cell. 4th edition.
Alberts B, Johnson A, Lewis J, et al.
New York: Garland Science; 2002.
Copyright © 2002, Bruce Alberts, Alexander Johnson, Julian Lewis, Martin Raff, Keith Roberts, and Peter Walter; Copyright © 1983, 1989, 1994, Bruce Alberts, Dennis Bray, Julian Lewis, Martin Raff, Keith Roberts, and James D. Watson .

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