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J Biol Chem. 1991 Apr 5;266(10):6607-13.

Heavy and light chain variable region sequences and antibody properties of anti-phosphotyrosine antibodies reveal both common and distinct features.

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Lucille P. Markey Cancer Center, Department of Biochemistry, University of Kentucky College of Medicine, Lexington 40536-0093.


Phosphotyrosine and similar analogs have been used to elicit antibodies that have found widespread use in the study of cellular tyrosine phosphorylation. In order to better understand the anti-phosphotyrosine immune response and to elucidate the details of the specific association between a tyrosine phosphate and an antibody combining site, we have undertaken a detailed comparison of antibody stability, specificity, apparent affinity, and primary structure for eight different anti-phosphotyrosine antibodies derived from immunizations with three different antigens. Two of these, 2G8 and 1G2, were derived from an immunization using azobenzylphosphonate conjugated to carrier, and five others, Py2, Py20, Py42, Py54, and Py69, were the products of an immunization with phosphotyrosine conjugated to carrier. Each of these anti-hapten antibodies was an IgG. One antibody, 129, an IgM, was the result of an immunization with a mixture of tyrosine-phosphorylated proteins which had been purified from growth factor treated cells. We found that antibody binding was significantly inhibited by millimolar levels of divalent cations or high concentrations of monovalent salt, with the exception of the antibody 129 where binding was significantly enhanced by both. Under optimal conditions, the highest apparent affinities for phosphotyrosine were observed for antibodies Py69 and Py20 (10(-6)-10(-7) M) and the lowest for 129 and 1G2 (10(-3)-10(-4). The heavy and light chain variable regions of seven of these antibodies were cloned and sequenced and a predominant anti-phosphotyrosine response was observed. The light chains of these antibodies could be assigned to one of two major VK groups, VK10 and VK19, with sequence identity between the different light chains of each class ranging from 65 to 100% at the amino acid level. Similar sequence identity was found among the heavy chain sequences (89-98% identity at the amino acid level) with the exception of one antibody, 2G8, which was only distantly related to the others (61-64% amino acid identity). These heavy chains belong to the same heavy chain family, J558. Two of the antibodies, Py20 and Py69, were clearly derived from the same progenitor cell since both share a highly unusual apparent V-D-D-JH organization. However, a significant level of somatic mutation has occurred between the two antibodies resulting in subtle changes in their apparent affinity and specificity.

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