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Infect Immun. 1990 Jun;58(6):1914-8.

Opsonization of Cryptococcus neoformans by a family of isotype-switch variant antibodies specific for the capsular polysaccharide.

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Department of Microbiology, School of Medicine, University of Nevada, Reno 89557.


A family of immunoglobulin isotype-switch variants was isolated by sib selection from a murine hybridoma which produced an immunoglobulin G subclass 1 (IgG1) antibody specific for the capsular polysaccharide of Cryptococcus neoformans. Antibodies of the IgG1, IgG2a, and IgG2b isotypes had similar serotype specificity patterns in double immunodiffusion assays which used polysaccharides of the four cryptococcal serotypes as antigens. A quantitative difference in the ability of the isotypes to form a precipitate with the polysaccharide was observed in a double immunodiffusion assay and confirmed in a quantitative precipitin assay. The relative precipitating activity of the antibodies was IgG2a greater than IgG1 much greater than IgG2b. Analysis by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay of the reactivity of the three isotypes with cryptococcal polysaccharide showed identical titers and slopes, suggesting that the variable region of the class-switch antibodies was unaltered. This system allowed us to examine the effect of the Fc portion of the antibody on opsonization of encapsulated cryptococci. Yeast cells were precoated with antibodies of each isotype and incubated with murine macrophages or cultured human monocytes. Antibodies of all three isotypes exhibited a dose-dependent opsonization for phagocytosis by both human and murine phagocytes. The relative opsonic activity of the antibodies was IgG2a greater than IgG1 greater than IgG2b.

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