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Biochemistry. 2008 Jul 15;47(28):7496-508. doi: 10.1021/bi800576c. Epub 2008 Jun 13.

Disulfide connectivity of human immunoglobulin G2 structural isoforms.

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Department of Analytical and Formulation Sciences, Process and Product Development, Amgen, Inc., Seattle, Washington 98119, USA.


In this communication we present the detailed disulfide structure of IgG2 molecules. The consensus structural model of human IgGs represents the hinge region positioned as a flexible linker connecting structurally isolated Fc and Fab domains. IgG2 molecules are organized differently from that model and exhibit multiple structural isoforms composed of (heavy chain-light chain-hinge) covalent complexes. We describe the precise connection of all the disulfide bridges and show that the IgG2 C H1 and C-terminal C L cysteine residues are either linked to each other or to the two upper hinge cysteine residues specific to the IgG2 subclass. A defined arrangement of these disulfide bridges is unique to each isoform. Mutation of a single cysteine residue in the hinge region eliminates these natural complexes. These results show that IgG2 structure is significantly different from the conventionally accepted immunoglobulin structural model and may help to explain some of the unique biological activity attributed only to this subclass.

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