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Immunity. 2002 Jul;17(1):107-15.

Secretory component: a new role in secretory IgA-mediated immune exclusion in vivo.

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Unité de Pathogénie Microbienne Moléculaire, INSERM U 389, France.


Secretory immunoglobulin (Ig) A (SIgA) is essential in protecting mucosal surfaces. It is composed of at least two monomeric IgA molecules, covalently linked through the J chain, and secretory component (SC). We show here that a dimeric/polymeric IgA (IgA(d/p)) is more efficient when bound to SC in protecting mice against bacterial infection of the respiratory tract. We demonstrate that SC ensures, through its carbohydrate residues, the appropriate tissue localization of SIgA by anchoring the antibody to mucus lining the epithelial surface. This in turn impacts the localization and the subsequent clearance of bacteria. Thus, SC is directly involved in the SIgA function in vivo. Therefore, binding of IgA(d/p) to SC during the course of SIgA-mediated mucosal response constitutes a crucial step in achieving efficient protection of the epithelial barrier by immune exclusion.

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