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Int Arch Allergy Immunol. 1999 Oct;120(2):85-99.

Immunoglobulin structure and function as revealed by electron microscopy.

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Department of Biological Science, Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL 32306-4370, USA.


Electron-microscopic (EM) analysis preceded crystallographic analysis [1,2] of Igs by over a decade and was for a time the only direct way of analyzing their 3-D molecular structure. Once the X-ray structures were deduced, the role of EM gradually shifted from gross structural analysis to the addressing of more sophisticated structural and functional questions. EM remains a vital adjunct to the many physicochemical, biochemical, and serological tools brought to bear on these remarkable molecules as we try to relate form to function. In this review I will highlight some of the many contributions that have been made possible by virtue of being able to 'see' Ig molecules and immune complexes.

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